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A Passage North
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
34 posts | 18 read | 9 to read
A young man journeys into Sri Lankas war-torn north in this searing novel of longing, loss, and the legacy of war from the author of The Story of a Brief Marriage. A novel of tragic power and uncommon beauty. In his depiction of the processes through which history sculpts human fate, Anuk Arudpragasam achieves something akin to grace.Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena A Passage North begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmothers caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstancesfound at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind. As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Ranis funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lankas thirty-year civil war, this procession to a pyre at the end of the earth lays bare the imprints of an islands past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek. Written with precision and grace, Anuk Arudpragasams masterful novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of devastation, and a poignant memorial for those lost and those still alive.
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review
mcctrish
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure I would have finished this of I hadn‘t had so much driving to do. I think it‘s just a case of this not being my jam on audio. There were parts I really liked, but I lot was just blah, blah, blah soothing meditation to fill my rides #thebigjubileeread

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mcctrish
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Audio driving to get youngest and all his crap, I mean stuff ( this is not all of it )

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mcctrish
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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GORGEOUS weather today!!! I bailed on my pantry‘s second coat of paint and did some audio gardening. This circle in my yard was filled with bugleweed, which was bizarre looking. I‘m not freaked out by weeds, but this one was so unlike the rest of my non lawn lawn that it had to go. I‘ve seeded with some white clover 🤞🏻which I‘m going to put all over my yard once I get some topsoil delivered #thebigjubileereadinglist

Soubhiville I seeded with Dutch White Clover last year and I love it! I‘ve had several butterflies perusing the blossoms today 😊 3w
mcctrish @Soubhiville between the butterflies and the bees I will be happy, happy, happy 3w
44 likes2 comments
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mcctrish
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Started this to listen to while I finish my pantry #thebigjubileereadinglist

EvieBee I had to do some research on your #️⃣ and wow! Didn‘t know there was a list! I‘m so excited! 4w
mcctrish @EvieBee I might not get far on the first decade unless I have some luck in second hand bookstores. I have read To Sir, With Love and seen the movie but I have had no luck at the library with any of the titles 😭 4w
EvieBee I know what you mean! Does Thrift books ship to Canada? I‘ve found very affordable second editions (sometimes new) on their site. 4w
mcctrish @EvieBee I had never heard of Thriftbooks until this minute and yes they do!!!! 🎉thx for that sweet nugget of information 4w
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mjtwo
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Mehso-so

10 Nov-12 Dec 2021
Booker longlist 8
Set in the aftermath of the long Sri Lankan civil war, the narrative follows a young Tamil man named Krishan as he journeys north to the funeral of his grandmother‘s carer, also a Tamil, who lost her sons to the war.
I know little about the Tamil Tigers or about Sri Lanka to be honest. Whilst this novel may prompt me to read the Wikipedia entry, I did not learn a great deal from it. It was long and plodding.

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charl08
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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The stuff about memory and trauma was beautifully done.
The endless obsessive relationship stuff: I could quite happily have lived without.

Anyhow, 1 down from my books I want to clear from my "currently reading" shelf.
Two chapters to go in On Seamus Heaney.
Progress!

Nute Great progress!🙌🏽 6mo
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Graywacke
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

My fifth audiobook from the Booker longlist, this is all in the head of Krishan, a Tamil from Sri Lanka who experienced the civil war only from a distance. Now he reflects on the Tamil loss, the war‘s horrors and on his own life, with some philosophical touches. Carefully worded, meaningful and readable.

It demands your full attention, so a little challenging on audio. But definitely a pick, and I enjoyed it.

Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 I‘d like to read this one sometime 6mo
batsy I loved his first book and am so keen to read this. Nice review! 6mo
Graywacke @Cathythoughts thanks. It‘s rewarding. Hope you have a chance to read it. 6mo
Graywacke @batsy he‘s so young, I think I kind of assumed this was his first book. ☺️ I‘ll look up his other book(s). Hope you are able to read this one. 6mo
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charl08
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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When you didn't see and hold the body of a dead child you couldn't understand that they were gone, she told him, and unlike her the relatives of people who'd gone missing were forced as a result to live their lives in a kind of suspended state, unable to accept that their sons or husbands or brothers were dead, knowing there was a chance they might be alive in some unnamed cell somewhere.

Suet624 How tragic. I can‘t even imagine. 4mo
51 likes1 comment
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JamieArc
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

I expected to plod through this. Instead, I found myself following along as if I were listening to a fascinating lecture. After the death of Krishan‘s grandmother‘s previous caretaker, he travels north to the funeral. As he travels by foot, by train, by bus, by foot again, we take part in his ruminations and meditations on a lover, aging, the gaze, the effects of war with a unique perspective that I hadn‘t read before.

JamieArc I was rooting for The Promise to take the prize, but now I‘m torn and would be glad for either of these two to win. 7mo
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Graywacke
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Next audiobook, from the Booker longlist. I‘m finding this a little tricky to follow on audio so far.

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charl08
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam

The cumulative effect of years of being subject to these gazes was that women who lived in the capital had learned to curb the movement of their own eyes to remarkable degrees, restricting their gazes in public spaces to areas where their eyes couldn't be intercepted.... though she herself made a conscious effort not to constrain her vision, Anjum added, to let her eyes move as freely as she wanted...

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JamieArc
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Thankfully, I am not having a busy workday, so I‘m sneaking some reading in for @TheAromaofBooks and her #BirthdayBash ! Really enjoying this Booker shortlist nominee - beautiful writing and beautiful thoughts.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! I love it!!! 7mo
43 likes1 comment
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rmaclean4
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Mehso-so

Well written, but I found the pace too slow.

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charl08
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Solitude in the past...

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shawnmooney
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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CindyE09
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

Checked this #booker shortlister out from my local library and was not disappointed. It is a deeply introspective book about post civil war Sri Lanka and the resonating effects of the war on its citizens. The book centers around Krishan, and follows his inner monologue on a trip to the war torn north to attend the funeral for his grandmothers companion, Rani, who had never recovered from the loss of her two sons during the war. Highly recommend.

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ClairesReads
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

This is a novel that considers heavy, complex ideas against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan Civil War. I was especially affected by its exploration of trauma, the way it is measured and compared, internalised, and the way it can be so inextricably tied to a place or a sensory experience. At times, this novel felt meandering and directionless, and at times I wished it had been edited a bit more tightly.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

This is going to be a love it or hate it book. It is filled with description, with stories that may or may not relate to the main storyline, and it is gorgeous.
I learned so much about Sri Lanka, an area that I do not see many novels written about. Along with learning about Sri Lanka this book explores relationships and Krishan's innermost thoughts about love hope and what he sees in a war torn county.
Settle in for a journey w/o action

IuliaC Lovely review and a perfect and delicious Friday reading set-up 😍 8mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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#weeklyforecast last couple of weeks have been slow going on reading so hoping to catch up some this week. I hear Opal&Nev is fantastic on audio so grabbed that from the library to listen along.

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shawnmooney
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Nute You find the most amazing quotes, Shawn! I could read this passage over and over again as I make a continued commitment to always relax my ciliary muscles.😁 8mo
24 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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https://youtu.be/c-0ne_9DoP0

Books and topics mentioned:

The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart
Barbara Bray (Translation)

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

My Tender Matador by Pedro Lemebel
Katherine Silver (Translation)

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan

A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

Booker shortlist reaction

Company in the Evening by Ursula Orange

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Cathythoughts I must have a listen .. Interested in these two.. tagged & in your picture 👍🏻 (edited) 8mo
LeahBergen I‘m loving the pink theme! 😄 8mo
Teresereading I haven‘t heard of Ursula Orange, sounds interesting 8mo
27 likes3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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The present, we assume, is eternally before us, one of the few things in life from which we cannot be parted.

Reading this gorgeous book with a cafe and a macaron for a lovely Friday afternoon.

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kathedron
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

Very Booker-ish!
I'm happy with minimal plot. I am so here for philosophising about desire, yearning and memory, how they are acted upon by time. But. The juxtaposition of Krishan's romantic infatuation with a charismatic activist, and Rani's civil war trauma and funeral, did not sit well with me. Because I perceive the one as "real" suffering and the other as rather lightweight? (But then who made me the judge of the worth of another's pain?)

TrishB Lovely review ♥️ 8mo
kathedron Thanks @TrishB 😗 8mo
squirrelbrain I didn‘t like this one, but love your review Kate. 8mo
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shawnmooney
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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abhishek1aa Just read this part yesterday and even i marked it and found it beautiful and the author very observant. 8mo
shawnmooney @abhishek1aa Observant, indeed! I will finish today. It might take me several days to figure out how I actually feel about the book but I‘m certainly glad I have read it! 8mo
shawnmooney @abhishek1aa By the way, I think we are friends on Goodreads? i‘d like to you to consider being a guest on my Bite-sized Book Chats series some day – may I DM you there if you are in fact the same Abhishek? 8mo
abhishek1aa I am the same Abhishek Shawn. Yes, you can DM me on Goodreads. 8mo
24 likes4 comments
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Simona
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Mehso-so

It's a book I have very mixed feelings and thoughts. While the basic story is simple - Krishan is on a train, going north to attend his grandmother's caregiver funeral. When he observes landscape, his thoughts are in the past, he thinks about love, losses, desire, death, politics, war, violence, trauma - the execution is a little more complex. The first person narration is coloured very philosophically and with its long sentences … 👇

Simona … it's becoming increasingly difficult to read it, which is usually not a problem for me, but not this time. I don‘t know why, but this stream of conscious was for me tedious and hard to read, and yet, I do think that this book was good and beautiful written in some places. #SriLanka #BookerPrize2021 8mo
38 likes1 comment
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rockpools
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Bailedbailed

I hoped to love this, but I‘m just not getting through it. The writing is beautiful, and there are gorgeous passages - meditations on walking, on aging, for example- but as a whole I wanted the plot to help me between them. This may be that rare occasion where I needed to know more about it before I started.

DNF at 40% after about 2 months 😬. However, it‘s on the Booker list (it is v Bookery) so you may well love it - just not my thing, sadly.

squirrelbrain It is *very* Bookery….. 9mo
rockpools @squirrelbrain I‘ve never been the best with Bookery books. 9mo
Centique I want “Bookery” to be an official adjective henceforth. I love it 😂😂😂 9mo
56 likes3 comments
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squirrelbrain
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Mehso-so

Not one of my favourites on the #bookerlonglist. At the start I found the sentences long and the paragraphs even longer. I stopped noticing that after a while and it picked up for a while in the middle, but then the stream of consciousness style became rather wearing again.

There was quite a lot of Sri Lankan history and custom here, but it was all rather clumsily inserted into the narrative and you could see the joins.

kathedron I might go for Great Circle next, then. 9mo
Graywacke Plan to get here, probably regardless, so I‘m interested in and glad to read your review. 9mo
squirrelbrain Both Emma @Oryx and I are really enjoying The Great Circle so far, @kathedron - it‘s a chunkster though! 9mo
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squirrelbrain I hope that you‘ll like it when you do get to it @Graywacke 🤞🏻 9mo
StellaB I know what you mean about stream of consciousness, it was tempting to skip forward sometimes. I heard this interesting interview with the author where he talks about why he writes in long sentences https://www.nts.live/shows/literaryfriction/episodes/literary-friction-14th-july... 9mo
squirrelbrain Thanks @StellaB - I‘ll listen to that sometime! 9mo
Graywacke @squirrelbrain @kathedron I‘m working through Great Circle on audio, about half way through. 9mo
BookwormM My feelings exactly 9mo
62 likes8 comments
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sarahbarnes
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

Making my way through the Booker nominees. Of these three, I loved No One is Talking About This for its humor and sharp insights, and A Passage North for its absolutely profound beauty.

Cathythoughts Interesting… I can‘t get past the fist half of No Is Talking … 9mo
Cathythoughts I‘m loving The Sweetness of Water … must have a look at Passage North 👍🏻 it‘s fun trying to get through a few 9mo
AnneCecilie What are you‘re thoughts on China Room? 9mo
sarahbarnes @Cathythoughts it‘s a quirky book for sure. I just really like her writing style. And great to know you‘re loving Sweetness of Water - hoping to get to that one soon! Idk why it‘s not at my library. 9mo
sarahbarnes @AnneCecilie I liked it! It‘s a good story and kept me intrigued until the end. For some reason I didn‘t enjoy it as much as the other two; I‘m not sure why. 9mo
27 likes5 comments
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nathandrake1997
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

Longing and desire, two words that feel the same at first glance but upon introspection, they couldn't be more different from each other. While desire is usually tied to a physically or emotionally tangible thing, longing is comparatively more ambiguous. It could be for a person, a certain period of time, a particular moment or for something whose existence we probably still aren't aware of...... #BookerPrize2021 #BookerPrize2021Longlist

nathandrake1997 ....It is the kind of shape shifting mirage that changes form and function throughout our existence. The best one could sum it up in a span of few words is longing is akin to the horizon, always in our sight but never in our grasp.... 9mo
nathandrake1997 ....It is this melancholic existential quandary that Anuk Arudpragasam explores in his exquisite sophomore novel A PASSAGE NORTH. While traveling in a train towards a village in North Sri Lanka for the funeral of his grandmother's caretaker, the protagonist of the book Krishan reminisces about his life until then, particularly the emotionally turbulent and physically elusive sensation of longing that has led him to this juncture in life.... 9mo
nathandrake1997 ....The prose mirrors the internal existential conflicts Krishan has with himself, often drifting into discourses and contemplations about various themes, incidents, ideas, ideologies, life in general. This might make the prose look and feel meandering, but in a way, that is the point.... 9mo
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nathandrake1997 ....We humans think in a meandering manner. That is why, instead of feeling indulgent or pretentious, the prose feels lived in and at times almost heart-breakingly real.... 9mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is one of those rare instances where I am at a complete loss of words inspite of contemplating a myriad of thoughts while reading, and even after reading, this exquisite masterpiece of a book that even though I'm struggling to write about, I can't stop thinking about. Sometimes those are the best kind of books. 9mo
batsy Beautiful review! I'm really looking forward to this. I loved his first one ❤️ 9mo
BarbaraBB Echoing @batsy 9mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️ Can't wait to read his previous book ❤️ 9mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB Thank you so much ❤️ 9mo
15 likes9 comments
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Brimful
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
Pickpick

A young man‘s reflection on the brutality and trauma of the Sri Lankan civil war as he travels to the funeral of his grandmother‘s carer Rani. Rani suffered terrible losses in the war and for her perhaps death was a result of a desire to die. A slow reflective novel that engages with themes of death desire and memory in the context of a war unknown to many in the west. Readers who like me enjoy Sebald will enjoy this. A potential shortlister

Vansa I found this book terrible and pretentious!!The writer chooses to cast himself as some sort of modern day Prince Siddhartha,and then proceeds to conflate genocide with a silly infatuation.Please read the tagged book,the Sri lankan civil war is too huge a human tragedy for this self-indulgent book to be the only way it's given attention! 9mo
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Brimful
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam

This is the reason I am unwell,she‘d told him,taking out two medium sized photographs from the folder and holding them out for him to see, the first of a boy about fifteen or sixteen , wearing a black suit two sizes too big for him, taken in a studio with a sky blue backdrop , the second of a boy about ten or eleven wearing trousers and a shirt, taken in the same studio with the same blue background.

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vlwelser
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

This is on the longlist for the Booker. And it's kind of what you would expect from that list. It's beautifully written, very reflective, slow paced and sort of dry. Am I selling it? I learned a lot about contemporary Sri Lanka. And the culture. Enough to make me realize that I know nothing.

#BookSpinBingo square 16
@TheAromaofBooks

I received this #ARC after the pub date.
#Hogarth #Netgalley

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 9mo
42 likes1 comment
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Brimful
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Bookerlonglist2021#. 1st august and I am starting my annual Booker long list read with this novel. Looks like one of the more challenging books on the list. The story of a young man travelling north to the funeral of his grandmother‘s carer in post civil war Sri Lanka. Initial impressions are that this will be introspective rather than plot driven. And oh what long sentences!

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Vansa
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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What an incredible opening paragraph. So profound and expressed so simply.

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