Writing War From Afar
It was a really big deal for me that a Sri Lankan publisher picked it up. I didn’t grow up there, and I didn’t go through [the war], so there’s always been a question of legitimacy. When I was at the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) workshop in 2011, I had these tremendous concerns: “I’m Sri Lankan, and I’m writing about the war, but I live in America. Can I even tell this story? Am I qualified?” So it was this tremendous stamp of approval that these people who had lived through the war wanted to publish it.
Over at Guernica, Neelanjana Banerjee interviews Nayomi Munaweera about being a Sri-Lankan born, Nigerian-raised, American-based author writing about the history of the country she left behind.