Sonali Deraniyagala. Knopf, $24 (240p) ISBN 978-0-307-96269-0
Deraniyagala's debut book recounts her life after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami took the lives of her parents, husband, and two sons in Sri Lanka. After being pulled from the muddy wasteland that was formerly the jungle surrounding her hotel, Sonali is taken to a hospital where the reality of her family's death creeps into her psyche. As their bodies are found, Sonali begins to withdraw from the world, searching the internet for the best way to kill herself, drinking every drop of alcohol she can find—including bottles of aftershave—and tormenting the renters of her parents' now vacant house. As she gradually returns to her life, she begins to find the absence of things intolerable, nearly breaking down when she doesn't hear her husband or sons in the house, secretly eating chocolate in the guest room. This is a story not about overcoming grief and loss, but of embracing reality in the face of pain and sadness. It packs an immense punch for being so short—or perhaps because it is so short. Conquering the clear difficulties that come with talking about such profound absences, Deraniyagala has written a book teaming with beautiful ruminations on the bittersweetness of memory and the precariousness of life. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-345-80431-0
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-1-84408-928-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-385-36661-8
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-7710-2536-5
Open Ebook - 114 pages - 978-0-307-96270-6
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7710-2537-2
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-84408-907-9
Hardcover - 273 pages - 978-1-4104-6045-5
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-1-59413-731-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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