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Homesick

3.5 (2710)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Homesick.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Roshi Fernando(Author)

    Book details


A stunning work of fiction about contemporary immigrant life from a dazzling new writer.

It's New Year's Eve 1982. At Victor and Nandini's home, family and friends gather to celebrate. Whiskey and arrack have been poured, poppadoms are freshly fried, and baila music is on the stereo. In the middle of it all is sixteen-year old Preethi, tipsy on youth, friendship, and pilfered wine, desperate to belong. Moving back and forth in time, between London and Sri Lanka, and circling the people in Preethi’s world, Homesick is a poignant narrative that blends love with loss, politics with pop culture, and tradition with rebellion.

Roshi Fernando grew up in southeast London and received her Ph.D. in creative writing from Swansea University. She was a finalist for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award in 2011. She lives in the Cotswolds with her family.

3.5 (11491)
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Book details

  • PDF | 288 pages
  • Roshi Fernando(Author)
  • Vintage (July 2, 2013)
  • English
  • 8
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By M. C. Crammer on September 25, 2012

    These 16 or so short stories of varying lengths are held together by an extended cast of characters, who are related by blood, marriage, or friendship. Central to the stories are their experiences and identities as Sri Lankan expatriates (immigrants) living in the United Kingdom (Great Britain) - people who are at home neither in Sri Lanka nor the UK. The stories vary in quality: Some I would give five stars, whereas others I would only give three stars - hence my overall rating of four stars. Some stories were haunting, whereas others should, I think, have been left out altogether. That is always an issue in collections of short stories, of course, and other readers might love the stories that left me with a "huh?" reaction. There's a rather puzzling story about a couple at a barn dance in which I never did figure out what was going on. Many of the stories require some patience, to understand what's going on, but a couple of stories never did seem to adequately explain the situation. On the other hand, one short story about a barely functioning man accused of molesting and killing a child was haunting.Because I was reading a review copy, a list of characters planned for the actual published edition was not yet included, so I struggled some with keeping track of the characters -- who they were and how they were related. The stories moved around in time and space, adding to the difficulty. A few characters were encountered several times in various stages of their lives, while others only featured in a single story (although were connected in some way to other stories).In addition to the central theme of the immigrant/emigrant experience - identity and assimilation, for example, another common theme involved sexuality and gender identity, including gay and lesbian experiences. Sadly, this may have been why some reviewers found the book distasteful. Very little explicit sexual activity is described - instead, the question of sexual orientation complicates the characters' struggles with identity in general (e.g., being Sri Lankan in England).I am surprised, however, by the number of negative reviews, as I think this book is well worth reading. I think the author is capable of even better work and look forward to reading more by her.

  • By zenigma283 on March 18, 2013

    The title of this book is called "Homesick", and it's incredibly apt. The story of a large Sri Lankan family that has emigrated to London, it's about homesickness in all its forms. Each of the characters is looking for a place to call home and wishing for somewhere they aren't. It's well done, and interesting issues are explored from beginning to end. Sexual orientation, immigration, gender -- this novel is rife with interesting explorations of identity and how they can affect a person.On the whole, Homesick is beautifully written. Fernando's prose is almost poetry. It makes the book a pleasure to read.The difficulty with Homesick comes with the sheer number of characters, as other reviewers have described. The book is billed as a novel, though it functions much better as linked short stories. There are just too many characters to keep track of, and it's hard to really emotionally connect with any of them because your time with them as a reader is so fleeting. But if you consider each of these chapters, narrated by a different character, a short story, serving as a glimpse into a person's life, the book as a whole is a much more pleasurable reading experience.

  • By Z Hayes on August 12, 2012

    Roshi Fernando's "Homesick" is a well-written series of short stories which are interconnected and explore the lives of Sri Lankan immigrants. Preethi's parents are Sri Lankan migrants but Preethi has a fierce desire to blend in and belong. Preethi's parents are horrified by her adoption of Western mores, but this rebellion is a way for Preethi to show she belongs, this despite the racism she encounters, being called "chocolate drop" as a young child.There are other characters that populate this collection of short stories and I enjoyed reading these stories mainly because the author deftly handles the experiences of the characters and makes her characters seem real and all too credible, drawing me into their lives with all their hopes and fears. I am familiar with books dealing with the American Indian experience and even the British Indian experience, but this is entirely unique in that it deals with the Sri Lankan migrant experience which makes it a fresh read for me. There is much darkness here but there are also light elements which provide a good balance and kept me engaged till the end. I hope to read more of the author's work.


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