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Extended Audio Sample Island of a Thousand Mirrors Audiobook, by Nayomi Munaweera Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nayomi Munaweera Narrator: Priya Ayyar Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781504630696
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A stunning literary debut of two young women on opposing sides of the devastating Sri Lankan Civil War

Before violence tore apart the tapestry of Sri Lanka and turned its pristine beaches red, there were two families. Yasodhara tells the story of her own Sinhala family, rich in love, with everything they could ask for. As a child in idyllic Colombo, Yasodhara and her siblings’ lives are shaped by social hierarchies, their parents’ ambitions, teenage love, and, subtly, the differences between Tamil and Sinhala people; but the peace is shattered by the tragedies of war. Yasodhara’s family escapes to Los Angeles. But Yasodhara’s life has already become intertwined with a young Tamil girl’s.

Saraswathi is living in the active war zone of Sri Lanka and hopes to become a teacher. But her dreams for the future are abruptly stamped out when she is arrested by a group of Sinhala soldiers and pulled into the very heart of the conflict that she has tried so hard to avoid—a conflict that, eventually, will connect her and Yasodhara in unexpected ways.

In the tradition of Michael Ondatje’s Anil’s Ghost and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Island of a Thousand Mirrors is an emotionally resonant saga of cultural heritage, heartbreaking conflict, and deep family bonds. Narrated in two unforgettably authentic voices and spanning the entirety of the decades-long civil war, it offers an unparalleled portrait of a beautiful land during its most difficult moment by a spellbinding new literary talent who promises tremendous things to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A novel of the heart…The color, tastes, sounds, and smells of Sri Lanka ooze from its pages, vibrant and intoxicating, but as beauty turns to brutality our sympathies are tossed between two young women whose different paths are fashioned by the violence of civil war but whose inner humanity is never forgotten.”

    Sarah Dunant, New York Times bestselling author of The Birth of Venus

  • “Munaweera writes with ferocity, fire, and poetry of the incomprehensible madness of civil war and its effects upon those caught within it…A masterful, incendiary debut.”

    Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander

  • “Munaweera’s first novel is a breathtaking work of lyrical prose and vivid, transporting imagery. Part historical fiction, part family saga, it is most of all an ode to the Sri Lanka of the past and a hopeful wish for the country’s future.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The paradisiacal landscapes of Sri Lanka are as astonishing as the barbarity of its revolution, and Munaweera evokes the power of both in a lyrical debut novel worthy of shelving alongside her countryman Michael Ondaatje or her fellow writer of the multigenerational immigrant experience Jhumpa Lahiri…Munaweera’s prose teems with delicious descriptions of food and flora. The book leaves the reader with two lingering smells that perfectly capture the conflict that nearly destroyed Munaweera’s home country: gasoline and jasmine.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Exquisitely written and beautifully evocative of an exotic place and bygone age.”

    Alan Brennert, award-winning author of Moloka’i

  • “By turns tender, beautiful, and devastating, Island of a Thousand Mirrors is a deeply resonant tale of an unraveling Sri Lanka. Incredibly moving, complex, and with prose you may want to eat, this debut is a triumph.”

    NoViolet Bulawayo, award-winning author of We Need New Names

  • “A searing tale of the Sri Lankan Civil War…Nayomi Munaweera breathes life into the beauty and terror of that era through her delicate, bittersweet prose. An unforgettable novel.”

    Yangsze Choo, author of The Ghost Bride

  • “The three women and the core of this ambitious, globe-spanning story show us, heartbreakingly, that we are linked by more than nation, more than race, more, even, than blood. A dark, beautiful, transporting debut.”

    V. V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage

  • Winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia
  • Longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of Essential Books about the Immigrant Experience
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About the Author

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Nigeria. She immigrated to the United States in her early teens and now lives in Oakland, California. Island of a Thousand Mirrors, her debut novel, won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize for the Asian Region and was longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize.

About the Narrator

Priya Ayyar is an audiobook narrator, actor, and writer with a BFA and MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her acting credits for television and film include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, All My Children, and the documentary The Children of War. She has appeared on stage in War of the Unheard, Aminta, and The Road Home, and she has written and performed in the plays Karmic Fusion and Losing Remote Control.