Fiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Translated by Arundathy Rodrigo. HIS SACRED ARMY is the first volume of a quintet of novels, Prison of Dreams, which tells the story of the growth of the armed struggle in Sri Lanka in the eighties. Through the experiences of its characters, who desire simply to go about their ordinary lives, the quintet depicts the suffering and separations caused by the political exploitation of ethnic differences leading to a full-fledged civil war.
HIS SACRED ARMY centres around the life of a young woman, Rajalakshmi, and the small island community of Nainativu to which she belongs. Nainativu is situated off the coast of Sri Lanka and is a site rich in folklore and religious significance. Rajalakshmi's simple dreams of employment to support her struggling family and marriage to her childhood friend Suthan are threatened by malicious gossip in the village and civil conflict in the nation. Her beloved Suthan faces the dilemma of whether to follow his father's political path of constitutional reform or to join the growing separatist movement.
Devakanthan was exiled by the Sri Lankan civil war and now lives in Toronto. He has written numerous essays, short stories, and novels and is an active member of the Toronto Tamil literary community. His work is read and studied internationally, in the Tamil homeland (Sri Lanka) and the diaspora. Prison of Dreams is a quintet of novels, an epic examination of the ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, the marginalization of the Tamil minority, and the trauma of civil war and exile. The first novel of the quintet, HIS SACRED ARMY, won the Tamil Nadu (India) Novel of the Year award.Author City: TORONTO, ON CAN