A haunting novel about a boy growing up within an extended upper-middle-class family. Shyam Selvadurai subtly juxtaposes a boy's passage to adolescence and maturity with the upheavals of growing ethnic tension and civil unrest. Arjie, the protagonist, is "funny": He likes to wear a sari and play with girls - and he hates sports. His bittersweet journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults - with its secrets, its ultimate capacity for violence and injustice - is beautifully rendered. And it is through Arjie's eyes that we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Among them: Arjie's imposing grandmother, whose ideas of propriety are tested when one of her daughters returns from America; a young cousin, "Her Fatness," who disturbs the natural order of things in a childhood game of bride-bride; a journalist from Jaffna whose relationship from long ago with Arjie's mother now leads all three of them into dangerous and unfamiliar territory; Arjie's father, distant, unmoving, whose sense of honor is tried by events not in his control; Shehan, the handsome and enigmatic boy, an outsider at school like Arjie, through whom Arjie discovers his own homosexuality and capacity for love.
Original title: Funny Boy
Genre: Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Gay Male
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Youth (rebellion, Angst, Coming Of Age)
Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Transgender/transvestite