Martin Wickramasinghe: ගම්පෙරළිය (The Uprooted) Part 1: (The Village)

The latest addition to my website is Martin Wickramasinghe‘s ගම්පෙරළිය (The Uprooted) Part 1: (The Village). This is the first novel in a trilogy which, though translated into English, is very difficult to obtain in the UK/US. It tells the story of how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the feudal classes fell into decline, relying too much on the income from their land and marrying only their own class, while the middle classes rose. Don Adirian Kaisaruwatte Muhandiram and his family are the case in point. They reject the suit of Piyal, the young man teaching their daughters English, and, instead, marry their daughter Nanda to another impoverished gentleman. Piyal goes on to make his fortune in Colombo with army contracts, while Nanda and her husband become more and impoverished. Muhandiram dies, leaving his family almost completely broke. The novel had considerable success in Sri Lanka so it is difficult to see why it not readily available in the West.

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