Tamil Tigress: My Story as a Child Soldier in Sri Lanka’s Bloody Civil War

Niromi de Soyza. Allen & Unwin (IPG, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (310p) ISBN 978-1-7423-7518-2

In this engaging memoir, de Soyza, who fought in the Sri Lankan civil war as a teenager, offers an account of divided allegiances and single-minded determination. Beginning with her middle-class childhood in a household of educated Tamils and her reasons for wanting to join the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (who opposed the ruling Sinhalese), de Soyza navigates the dense politics of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflicts. Once a Tiger, she must face complicated moral questions, and doesn’t shy away from revealing herself as both complicit in, and critical of, the Tigers’ tactics even as similar methods from their enemy renew her resolve. Readers will both empathize with and judge de Soyza’s experiences in the Tamil struggle as she candidly shares the messy truths of what occurred in the jungle and how she came to leave the Tigers behind. (July)
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