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Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel Hardcover – September 2, 2014
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“By turns tender, beautiful, and devastating, Island of A Thousand Mirrors is a deeply resonant tale of an unraveling Sri Lanka. Incredibly moving, complex, and with prose you may want to eat, this debut is a triumph.” ―NoViolet Bulawayo, award-winning author of We Need New Names
“A searing tale of the Sri Lankan civil war...Nayomi Munaweera breathes life into the beauty and terror of that era through her delicate, bittersweet prose. An unforgettable novel.” ―Yangsze Choo, author of The Ghost Bride, international bestseller in SE Asia and Oprah.com's Book of the Week
“A novel of the heart...The colour, tastes, sounds and smells of Sri Lanka ooze from its pages, vibrant and intoxicating, but as beauty turns to brutality our sympathies are tossed between two young women whose different paths are fashioned by the violence of civil war, but whose inner humanity is never forgotten.” ―Sarah Dunant, author of Blood and Beauty and Birth of Venus
“Exquisitely written and beautifully evocative of an exotic place and bygone age.” ―Alan Brennert, author of Moloka'i
“Munaweera writes with ferocity, fire and poetry of the incomprehensible madness of civil war and its effects upon those caught within it... A masterful, incendiary debut.” ―Janet Fitch, #1 international bestselling author of White Oleander
“The three women and the core of this ambitious, globe-spanning story show us, heartbreakingly, that we are linked by more than nation, more than race, more, even than blood. A dark, beautiful, transporting debut.” ―V.V.Ganeshananathan, author of Love Marriage
About the Author
NAYOMI MUNAWEERA was born in Sri Lanka, and grew up in Nigeria. She emigrated with her family to the United States in her early teens, and now lives in Oakland, CA. Island of a Thousand Mirrors won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for the Asian Region and was longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. It is her first novel.
Top Customer Reviews
The people, especially the women, in Island of a Thousand Mirrors compel one to consume the book at ever increasing speeds in a fervent desire to know more, see the lives of these women unfold and entwine, hear their tales, know their hearts. Yet the beauty and deliciousness of the prose urges a slow savoring of this unique and exquisitely crafted delight of a book. That she writes so beautifully about so much that is foul and ugly, that she evokes the shared misery and powerful strength of those whose world is ripped apart by war distinguishes Nayomi Munaweera as an exceptional storyteller, witness, poet, author.
Her very specific tale of these families and those times taught me more about Sri Lanka's civil war than a decades worth of newspaper accounts could ever have conveyed. And her universal message of the complexity of war that "There are no martyrs here. It is a war between equally corrupt forces." Despite our almost omnipresent desire to believe in such times that there is a "clear distinction between the cowboys and the Indians, the corrupt administration and the valiant freedom fighters, the democratic government and the raging terrorists." There is not.
As I close the book on the final pages, I regret the loss of these women, I yearn to know more of their lives - and I am profoundly aware that peace, and not victory, is the goal that matters.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
The writing is lovely, the author intelligent and specific in her death scenes but it wasn't for me. I no longer have the need to look back, to try and make sense of what came before me. It is over, it was wrong, we must let it go. History is no longer repeating itself, although to the untrained eye, it will continue look that way.
"We take the children because they are easily trainable, eager to follow orders after a few weeks, small and agile enough to slip over the land unseen, and catch the enemy off guard. We take them because soldiers, no matter how battle hardened, always hesitate before children. And that moment of hesitation often grants us victory. As we leave, the villagers avert their eyes. They know that without us the children have no hope, yet still they are silently distraught."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As beautiful as the writing is, this is not an easy book to read. The story vividly describes horrific tragedies of the Sri Lankan civil war where hatred for the other came with... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Joyce Wycoff
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's characters and especially the beautifully descriptive writing. I knew little about Sri Lanka before reading it, but I felt like I could see... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Deborah Jones
Nayomi Munaweera has a brilliant future in the book world. She writes romance and peace equally as well as she writes brutality and war. And both are what the book is about. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A Rochester
Recently Donald Trump recommended killing families of terrorists, committing a war crime. The novel “Island of a Thousand Mirrors” about civil war in Sri Lanka painfully... Read morePublished 4 months ago by seniorchoice
It met the parameters for what I was looking for on the subjectPublished 5 months ago by Happy Amazon Customer
Amazing book about my country. Truly wide awakening about my history yet very inspiring and humbling. Beautifully written and can't wait for her next book!Published 5 months ago by Ramona S
Ahhhhh. I love this book. I probably cried a few times while reading it and it's just an amazing story of the harsh reality so many face everyday. I'm not a book worm at all !!! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer