Swimming in the Monsoon Sea

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea

Shyam Selvadurai

Language: English

Pages: 274

ISBN: 0887768342

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, (Children's Literature, Text)

The setting is Sri Lanka, 1980, and it is the season of monsoons. Fourteen-year-old Amrith is caught up in the life of the cheerful, well-to-do household in which he is being raised by his vibrant Auntie Bundle and kindly Uncle Lucky. He tries not to think of his life “before,” when his doting mother was still alive. Amrith’s holiday plans seem unpromising: he wants to appear in his school’s production of Othello and he is learning to type at Uncle Lucky’s tropical fish business. Then, like an unexpected monsoon, his cousin arrives from Canada and Amrith’s ordered life is storm-tossed. He finds himself falling in love with the Canadian boy. Othello, with its powerful theme of disastrous jealousy, is the backdrop to the drama in which Amrith finds himself immersed.

Shyam Selvadurai’s brilliant novels, Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens, have garnered him international acclaim. In this, his first young adult novel, he explores first love with clarity, humor,
and compassion.

Les Choses terrestres

ÉnigmeS (Autoportrait V)

The Underpainter

Le Maître de Chichen Itza

Le Chant des poissons rouges

















play ended. Once Amrith had finished reading the story of Othello, he carefully went through the last scene of the play, using a dictionary to help with the difficult Elizabethan English. He was delighted by Desdemona’s role. There was lots of room for great acting in this part. He decided that, since the role of Desdemona was already his, he would memorize it, thus getting an early start on his chance of winning the cup. When he felt he had mastered his lines, he went looking for Mala to run

chair in front of him, the other boys gathered around. Except for a few boys from the junior forms who were playing the supernumeraries — guards, courtiers, and so forth, who would come in at the end — all the boys were seniors. Besides Suraj, there was a razor-thin debater named Ahmed, who was sure to get the part of Iago. The boy playing Iago’s wife, Emilia, was called Fernando. He was a tubby, good-humored boy who was brilliant in English Literature and the Classics and was destined for

even speak properly and you want to be an actor?” He tossed his head in disdain. Before Amrith could respond, Madam called him onto the stage. She instructed him to lie down on the bed and pretend to be asleep. Once he was in place, she signaled for Suraj to start his monologue. Amrith, as he lay there, became aware that his hands were shaking. He pressed them against his sides to try and steady them. Suraj came to the end of his monologue. He bent over the bed and pretended to kiss Amrith. It

face by the tourists’ broad gestures. To the side of the lobby was a lounge area, with chairs and settees around coffee tables. His uncle rose from one of the chairs and held up his hand to get their attention. As they went across to him, Amrith kept his eyes lowered, even more nervous than before. When they reached his relative, Uncle Lucky gently pushed him forward. “Amrith, this is your Uncle Mervin.” He held out his hand and his uncle took it limply. He glanced up and saw a forced smile

disingenuously. “No,” Aunty Bundle replied, with even greater coldness, “Amrith is our son now.” In all the years Amrith had lived here, there had never been a need to explain his presence. In Sri Lankan society, all such personal information was secretly passed between people to prevent socially awkward situations from arising. Amrith, having done his social duty, was free to leave, and he went across the courtyard to his bedroom. He did not know why but, once he was in his room, he left his

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