"Bringing Tony Home" is a breakthrough collection, including a novella and three short stories that together portray a young boy's childhood and coming of age in 1940s and 1950s Sri Lanka. The title story follows a young boy whose family has recently suffered economic hardships and has just moved out of their home several miles away to a much smaller house, leaving the boy's beloved dog, Tony, behind. But the boy, devoted to his dog, returns to his old home on his own to find Tony and take him by foot to the family's new home. The story recounts the boy's near-tragic journey, and follows him as he observes the changes in his family as they adjust to their new surroundings.In "Elsewhere: Something Like a Love Story", a boy finds forbidden love with a schoolmate scorned by other students for her poverty and sexual proclivity. The love is short-lived, as a schoolmate, purporting to be the girl's boyfriend, threatens him. The story fast-forwards 15 years when the couple meets by chance in the city.
"Elsewhere" touches on the bittersweet memories the two share, and follows the tragic story of the woman who, in the end, loses everything she has ever had because of her status as a woman in her community."Poor Young Man: A Requiem" find the boy as a young man, just turning 21, recounting his relationship with his father during the years their family's fortunes were disappearing. And in perhaps the collection's most moving and stylistically complex story, "Hark, The Moaning Pond: A Grandmother's Tale", told through the boy's eyes as a much older man, follows the young boy coming to terms with his grandmother's death, and connecting his grandmother to the deeper story and mythology of their homeland.
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(216mm x 140mm x 18mm)
North Atlantic Books,U.S.
Publisher: North Atlantic Books,U.S.
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Sri Lankan director-turned-novelist Abeysekara (In My Kingdom of the Sun and the Holy Peak, 2004, etc.) evocatively combines fiction and autobiography in an award-winning novella and three short stories.Impressions of youth - painful lessons learned, emotions intensely experienced and adulthood broached - are reconsidered from the perspective of maturity in these long, sensuously detailed fictions. Like the author, the narrator of the eponymous novella is a TV director making a 12-hour series called "The Outsiders," remembering and revisiting his childhood landscape. When the narrator's family fell on hard times and had to move into a smaller home in a different village, his beloved dog Tony was left behind. The boy made a heroic attempt to rescue his pet but fell ill in the process, and Tony disappeared. Later, he found Tony again, but only to take a heart-wrenching farewell. Returning after 46 years, the director finds the scenery altered, yet alive with memory and a sense of melancholy. The narrator looks back wistfully in the other stories as well. "Poor Young Man" records his anxious and angry attitude toward his father, whose fortunes faded and who concealed mysteries. In "Elsewhere," a schoolboy's attraction to an outcast girl is revived in adulthood and recollected painfully decades later. The final story, "Hark, the Moaning Pond," considers, through reminiscences of the narrator's grandmother, the culture of Sri Lanka and the birth of shame.A sophisticated jigsaw of a book, sensitively - sometimes stiflingly - mixing memory and history with regret and rites of passage. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Tissa Abeysekara
Tissa Abeysekara began writing fiction in his native Sinhala, Sri Lanka, in the late 1950s. Also one of the country's most respected screenwriters and directors, he is the author of "In My Kingdom of the Sun; The Holy Peak; Roots, Reflections and Reminiscences; "and other books. He lives in Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka.