Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The Hungry Ghosts by Shyam Selvadurai
In Canada, however, Shivan experiences something like the insatiable hungry ghosts of Buddhist mythology, whose tiny mouths prevent nourishment. Happiness eludes him. Shivan returns to help his grandmother in Sri Lanka, but tragedy forces him to leave again. Unfortunately, living in Canada also feels unbearable.
"Rising in me was a great longing to be back in Sri Lanka and also, paradoxically, a revulsion against being there. These two irreconcilable feelings pressed tight against each other."
Like Selvadurai's earlier novels, Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens, and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, this book evokes rich details of daily life in Sri Lanka. Unlike the others, The Hungry Ghosts is permeated with emotional pain, giving it a more sorrowful tone. It provides thought-provoking and authentic insights into the immigrant experience.