"Homeless and Homesick": Exile and Bildungsroman in Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy
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It is the purpose of this paper to analyze the literature of a Sri- Lankan writer who has been urged to emigrate because of the social and racial problems risen between Tamils and Sinhaleses in Sri-Lanka, in the last few decades. Shyam Selvadurai (Funny Boy), now living in Canada, a new novelist of the nineties, describes a paradisiac country in violent turmoil and writes about the decision to leave a seemingly impossible situation for a “promised” land. It will be interesting to examine the contradictions between these very different but enriching civilizations, the Eastern and the Western, specifically in the way they face religion, gender and race. Special attention would be paid to the notions of bildungsroman, the loss of innocence, the growingup of political conscience, the racial discrimination, and the literary metaphors of exile.