Ambalavener Sivanandan: When Memory Dies

(1100 words)
  • Nivedita Majumdar (York College, CUNY )

Ambalavener Sivanandan's first novel is an extraordinary achievement for its inextricable interweaving of political perspicuousness with profound humanism. When Memory Dies (1997), a three generation saga of epic proportions, charts the history of the author's home country, Sri Lanka, for close to a century. The novel challenges a prevailing tendency of viewing conflicts in third-world societies as historically transcendent. It meticulously lays bare the processes of the nation's colonial and postcolonial history from a subaltern perspective. The most remarkable feat of the novel is the way complex sociopolitical phenomena, from the fall out of colonialism to the betrayal of postcolonial politics, are always depicted through …

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Majumdar, Nivedita. "When Memory Dies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 December 2004
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]