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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review - When life gives you lemons, make limoncello by Anura



I picked this book up and it is part of my reading for the South Asian Challenge 2011 hosted by S. Krishna. I had never ever heard of this author, I knew he was Sri Lankan even before I picked up the book as the name is very Sri Lankan but what clinched it was that there was no surname for this author until I did a bit of research and found out about Anura Saparamadu who lived a good part of his years in New York and then moved to Italy in 2001 before returning home post tsunami.

The book covers Anura's life so it is a kind of memoir which is fun, not orthodox and gives one an insight into life as an immigrant. Anura is not the average John or should I say Sunil in Italy - the one who jumps a boat off a coast in Sri Lanka and surreptitiously finds his way to the Italian coast and within a couple of years obtains his documents and eventually sponsors his entire clan. Success stories like this are myriad in Sri Lanka (of course along with the failures) but it is heartening nevertheless. Anura already well established in New York post 9/11 decides to take the plunge as an English teacher in an institute teaching English to the Italians.

His life there, his loves there, his friends - all form part of the story and a very happy go lucky life it seems to be. Despite an erratic and maddening boss, friends provide all the comforts and support of home and Anura seems to be very happy in his day to day life. With the advent of the tsunami, Anura decides to return home. It provided a startling change for me anyway as most immigrants do not return home, however green the pastures have become. Anura was also different in that he did not come from an impoverished background - he did not go as an economic refugee (on the contrary) he came from a very comfortable background and went as he was bored and he wanted a change of scene.

The story was unusual in lots of aspects - definitely not the run of the mill immigrant made good story - and was a very fun read.

Specially after the last three days of constant travelling, this was a nice book to finish the weekend with.

12 comments:

Mary said...

It does sound like a fun read. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. I'll add the title to my list :)

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Hello to you Mystica! Thank you so much for leaving a comment, on my blog!

Yes, we always want what we do not have, at the moment. I want my snow to be gone. You could use a bit of cooling. :-)

Thank you so much for your perspective.

I know, I too will wish for some cooling, when full Summer comes around. I know. :-) I know.

Again, thank you so much for leaving a comment in my blog. I look forward to getting to know you. And hope that you will have the time, to come back and visit me again some time.

Gentle hugs,
From the North East of the US
:-)

KY Warrior Librarian said...

Hello Mystica...Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Have enjoyed perusing your blog on this lovely official first day of spring. Happy reading to you...keep on inspiring and uplifting.

Blodeuedd said...

Good that you enjoyed it, and it does sound like a good book to finish such a weekend with :)

Beach Vintage.com said...

What a great way to finish your weekend.

MarthaE said...

Hi Mystica-
This looks different and I like the title. I am glad you enjoyed it.

chasingbawa said...

I saw this when I was last in Sri Lanka but didn't think to get it. Something to look forward to for my next visit. It sounds quite different from the norm.

Amused said...

This book sounds lovely and I am lusting over that old school cover!

carolsnotebook said...

Sounds like a fun book, a different perspective.

Laura Fabiani said...

My mother-in-law can make a killer limoncello! This really does sound like a fun book and I will add it to my growing pile of TBR books. Thanks for the review.

Lisa said...

You've given me another great suggestion for a good book that will fill my desire to broaden my cultural horizons. Thanks!

Nick de Jong said...

I was in Sri Lanka last month and my fiance bought this novel from the airport bookshop to read on the beach. She was laughing so hard that staff and guests at the resort in Bentota must have thought she was crazy. After she finished it I HAD to read it and soon I was laughing also!

This guy has a very wicked sense of humor and he writes such outrageous things in such an easy manner that you can't stop giggling. Its obvious he had a great time in Italy.

The book cover said this is his last book which is such a shame. He is a very funny writer and I hope he writes many more stories. When I was at Odel store in Colombo I saw he had published a book on posters of Ceylon but sadly it was not a novel and weighed too much for me to carry with me back to Holland.