Ru Freeman and Deborah Baker
Thursday June 20, 2013
Acclaimed author Ru Freeman read from her new novel, On Sal Mal Lane, and discussed the book with author Deborah Baker (The Convert).
About On Sal Mal Lane
The Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009) claimed tens of thousands of lives and pitted friends, neighbors, colleagues, and lovers against one another: Tamils and Sinhalese, Buddhist and Catholic and Hindu, rich and poor. In Ru Freeman’s stunning new novel, On Sal Mal Lane, we are transported to a quiet street in Colombo in the years leading up to the deadliest conflict in Sri Lankan history. The children growing up on Sal Mal Lane fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. But the tremors of civil war are mounting, and the conflict threatens to engulf them all. In a heart-rending novel poised between the past and the future, the innocence of the children—a beloved sister and her over-protective siblings, a rejected son and his twin sisters, two very different brothers—contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. In Ru Freeman’s masterful hands, On Sal Mal Lane, a story of what was lost to a country and her people, becomes a resounding cry for reconciliation.
“Lovingly written, historically rich and compassionate to all sides of the turmoil.”
Ru Freeman is the author of A Disobedient Girl, which was a finalist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and has been translated into seven languages. She is an activist and journalist whose work appears internationally. She calls both Sri Lanka and America home.
Deborah Baker is the author of The Convert, a 2011 National Book Award Finalist; In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding, a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize; and A Blue Hand: The Beats in India. She divides her time between Calcutta, Goa, and Brooklyn.