Short Stories

I remember my two older daughters running towards the rocks. 
That last picture keeps coming back: their long legs running with laughter across the exposed sand.
I never called them back. I never called them back.
I call and call them now but they keep running on.

from ‘The Waves’, a Tsunami story


The writers were at the table, eating each others’ words. Delicate morsels of sliced crime, tangy segments of romance, silver spoonerisms washed down with a glass of iced humour that turned the lips green.

from ‘A Feast of Words’

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My collection of short stories, Broken Jaw, focuses on the challenges of finding a voice. All the stories were written during or soon after the close of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and speak against silences – official and unofficial – testing the limits of what can be said. The collection is divided into two parts, ‘Rumours’ and ‘Ventriloquy and Other Acts’, that take the reader on a journey from the public world of political conflict to the private space of home, from the dislocations of violence and migration to a personal quest for peace and renewal, charting the emergence of a speaking voice in the context of its suppression and denial.

Stories in the volume include ‘The Breach’, set in the final weeks of the war; ‘A Feast of Words’, which engages with freedom of expression and the disappearance of the journalist, Prageeth Eknaligoda; and ‘The Waves’, which is based on the voices of survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami.

The stories in ‘Ventriloquy Other Acts’ comprise a triptych that transport the reader to the memoried landscape of three countries that shaped me: Sri Lanka, Malaysia and England.

My short stories have also been published in Wasafiri, South Asian Review, The Missing Slate (as Story of the Month) and Short Story; anthologized in Bridges: A Global Anthology of Short Stories, The Radiance of the Short Story: Fiction from Around the Globe and True Tales from the Old Hill; and commercially produced on the CD, Commonwealth Short Stories 2009: Voices from our World (Commonwealth Foundation and CBA).

As writer and academic, I have long supported and participated in the biennial International Short Story Conference.