David George Gordon
"A young man journeys into Sri Lanka's formerly war-torn north, and into a country's soul, in this searing novel of love and the legacy of war from the award-winning author of The Story of a Brief Marriage. "The closest we seem to get to the present are those brief moments we stop to consider the spaces our bodies are occupying, the warmth of the sheets in which we wake, the scratched surface of the window on a train taking us somewhere else..." A Passage North begins with a message: a telephone call informing Krishan, newly returned to Colombo, that his grandmother's caretaker, Rani, has died in unexpected circumstances--found at the bottom of the village well, her neck broken. The news coincides with the arrival of an email from Anjum, a woman with whom he had a brief but passionate relationship in Delhi a few years before, bringing with it the stirring of old memories and desires. As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn northern province for the funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the soul of a country. At once a meditation on love and longing, and an incisive account of the impact of Sri Lanka's civil war, this procession to a pyre "at the end of the earth" shines a light on the distances we bridge in ourselves and those we love, and the indelible imprints of an island's past. Anuk Arudpragasam's masterful novel is an effigy for the missing and the dead, and a vivid search for meaning, even amid tragedy"