In the world of his large family, affluent Tamils living in Colombo, Arjie is an oddity, a 'funny boy' who prefers dressing as a girl to playing cricket with his brother. In FUNNY BOY we follow the life of the family through Arjie's eyes, as he comes to terms both with his own homo-sexuality and with the racism of the society in which he lives. In the north of Sri Lanka there is a war going on between the army and the Tamil Tigers, and gradually it begins to encroach on the family's comfortable life. Sporadic acts of violence flare into full scale riots and lead, ultimately, to tragedy. Written in clear, simple prose, Syam Selvadurai's first novel is masterly in its mingling of the personal and political.
"Exquisitely written...superb" Independent "At first sight an innocently observed portrait of Tamil family life in seventies Sri Lanka, it metamorphosed into a lucid, serious piece of writing... Selvadurai's world is delightful, frightening, important and he describes it with touching clarity... His novel is a graceful and intelligent account of the random nature of growing up" Observer "A quiet masterpiece" Gay Times "The unadorned and simple prose has elegance and great sophistication. Moreover, Selvadurai has a genius for touching a nerve with a feather-light touch... A powerful and beautifully written novel" Literary Review
Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He left Sri Lanka after the 1983 riots in Colombo and settled with his family in Canada. He lives in Toronto.