Funny Boy


by Shyam Selvadurai
published by Vintage Books


'At first sight an innocently observed portrait of Tamil family life in seventies Sri Lanka, it metamorphoses into lucid, serious piece of writing. At seven, Arjie prefers dressing up with the girls and reading Little Women to perfecting his off-spin. Fretting that he may turn out "funny", his parents attempt to force the male world upon him. The trouble is that women, recognising him for the sensitive chap that he is, be friend and confide in Arjie. Tagging along along first with his romantic, and then his gutsy impulsive mother, he witnesses a series of emotional and political dramas that shape his response to his own dawning homosexuality and the growing racial tension around him. Selvadurai's word is delightful, frightening, important and he describes it with touching clarity... His novel is a graceful and intelligent account of the random nature of growing up' — Observer 

'A quiet masterpiece' — Gay Times

'The unadorned and simple prose has elegance and great sophistication. Moreover, Selvadurai has a genius for touching a nerve with a feather-light touch... A powerful and beautifully written novel' — Literary Review

“Shyam Selvadurai has brought back from his Sri Lankan childhood a glittering and wise novel. Funny Boykeeps repeating with quiet conviction that the human condition can, in spite of everything, be joyful. You are not alone, it says to the reader, I understand you. I was there. I remember.” —Alberto Manguel

- paperback: 314 pages
- product dimensions: 130 x 195 mm

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