The boat people by Sharon Bala

FF3C89E6-DEB4-4D30-8CE5-B95F1AA7C2DABook set in Esquimalt, Canada. Reviewed on 2019/04:

I enjoyed reading #theboatpeople because of the smart and intricate way in which #sharonbala treats two issues: #refugees in #canada and the #srilankancivilwar . I think #bala is trying to focus her story on these two issues while at the end talking about something very universal: fear of the other. That #fear is reflected here in a lot of ways from the #canadianauthorities’ treatment of #tamilrefugees, tamil refugees’ fearing this new unknown, new land, and so many other questions which will be left unanswered between these two groups. What I found also very smartly touched upon on the text is how much fear of the other is basically fed with past memories and other experiences which ultimately have nothing or almost nothing to do with the group in front of them. You read in these pages about Canadians reacting to news headlines, perception of lack of security and Tamils on the other hand reacting based on their traumatic experience of a #civilwar with constant threats from both sides: the terrorists as well as the #sinhalese authorities. There is no way out and there is no possibility of surmounting these embedded perceptions and trauma despite the fact that we are staring at each other. Needless to say this is a pressing and relevant read for all of us. I did wish Bala would have created more powerful and convincing characters which intertwine with each other almost against their will. But overall this is a quick and pertinent read which should be on your TBD list. #recommended #vancouver #victoria#canadianliterature #canlit#debutnovel #doubleday #esquimalt#asylum #welcome

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