The immigrant experience has always been ripe territory for literature, but one must proceed with caution. It is easy for writers to get overly sentimental when nostalgia takes hold, and clichés often dominate romanticized narratives. Fortunately, the immensely talented Roshi Fernando avoids these traps in her spectacular debut, Homesick
, which chronicles the Sri Lankan immigrant experience in England.
Although this book is really a collection of tightly interconnected short stories, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to call it a novel. And while each chapter or story stands on its own, it does help the narrative to read the book from beginning to end without jumps. The opening story, Homesick
, sets the stage by introducing the principal characters who reappear as the book progresses. Primary among these is Preethi, who, as the story opens, is a...
Beyond the Book
, Victor, a Sri Lankan immigrant to England, views his native country's cricket team as his own. He owes allegiance to them and takes pride in their successes. Roshi Fernando uses this sport as a metaphor for her character's desire to break free of colonial ties.
The game of cricket is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a game played with a ball and bat by two sides of usually 11 players each on a large field centering upon two wickets each defended by a batsman." Possibly an ancestor of American baseball, the sport plays somewhat similarly. One person, called the "bowler," pitches...