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In these stories Jean Arasanayagam brings us voices that are not normally heard: those of anonymous men and women searching for order and reason in the midst of a ruthless civil war. While many succumb to the horror of their times, there are others who discover in themselves unexpected reserves that will help them survive. Thus a young Sinhala man turns his back on an aimless upper-class existence and joins a group of Tamil refugees smuggling themselves into Germany; a woman goes out alone to see the scene of a carnage to try and find her daughter's lover among the dead and dying; a maid returns from the rich desert city of Doha to the green half-jungle of her village in northern Sri Lanka and rediscovers happiness despite the uncertain future...In addition to stories about the effects of war and violence, this collection also explores aspects of ethnicity and individual choice in a multicultural society. All is Burning is truth-telling at its poignant best. 'Jean Arasanayagam's writing contains some of the most powerful and truthful stories to come out of Sri Lanka...She is a wonderful writer and should be read everywhere.' --Michael Ondatje, author of the Booker Prize winning The English Patient 'Jean Arasanayagam is one of the most significant voices writing in Sri Lanka today. Her fiction is deeply political in the very best sense of the word, concerned as it is with personal politics of post-colonial identity. Her luminous prose enables her to go straight to the core of her characters' social and personal dilemmas.' --Professor John Thieme, Department of English, The University of Hull
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