Broadening Our Worldview: Sri Lankan Literature


On February 4th, Sri Lanka celebrated 69 years of independence from the British Empire. Sri Lanka is my mother’s homeland, but I grew up in the United States, where many people are incapable of finding Sri Lanka on the globe. The fact that Americans know so little about the world is sad. This ignorance explains, at least in part, why a large percentage (though not a majority) of American voters felt comfortable electing a xenophobic man for President (and xenophobia is only one of a long list of hateful traits this man exhibits proudly).

If more Americans made an effort to learn about the rest of the world, the United States would be a better country than it is right now. Not everyone has the resources to travel, but books are a wonderful way to broaden our worldview. I think that is particularly true of books for younger readers, who aren’t so entrenched in their views already.

To learn more about Sri Lanka, check out Cinderzena’s list of Sri Lankan literature (and bloggers!). As she explains:

I decided to create a list of some of the best, spell binding and intriguing Lankan literature written in English. Of course there are so many more wonderful masterpieces in both Sinhala and Tamil (which are both official languages of the country) but translations of them are also widely available. I tried my best to chose from a wide range of genres including translations.

Cinderzena was kind enough to include Anusha of Prospect Corner, the middle grade novel I wrote with my twins. We are Sri Lankan-American (I am half Sri Lankan; my Dad’s side is predominantly Irish with a mix of Sioux, African, and Basque). The novel was a way of exploring our identity as we grapple with what remains of our Sri Lankan heritage while we live thousands of miles away from our mother country.


anusha-front-cover-smallerTo learn more about Anusha of Prospect Corner, find it on:


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve just moved to Sri Lanka and am looking for more information about history of the country.

  2. I definitely agree with you. I’m an American and my native country is Sri Lanka. I think Sri Lanka has rich history and literature that must be shared to all!! Not overshadowed by other South Asian countries.

    1. Sri Lankan culture is wonderful, and I’m so glad that bloggers like Cinderzena are spreading the word about it. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I am definitely a mix. I am 50% Jewish. I grew up with a mom who was born in Berlin, Germany . She grew up , however, in Shiraz in Persia. My uncle is married to my aunt who is from Iran. It’s quite a mixture of cultures I have learned from and experienced. I get it and can not believe where things have gone in the USA. I pray for sanity for those now in charge. I am not sure what we have in store, but I do believe in America. Time will tell. Thank you for a thoughtful post .

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was born in Sri Lanka, parents from Iran, and we left Colombo when I was a few years old to Canada. I haven’t returned but I’d love I go back.

  5. What a wonderful heritage you and your children have! I have been very much pushing the fact that almost no one from the UK is wholly from the UK at people who are moaning about “immigrants” and Others. Even I, 63/64 Somerset, am 1/64 Spain! A great list which I will try to explore once TBR Max has diminished …

  6. Yes. Yes yes yes. I consider myself pretty well-educated, and it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I discovered any real ideas on Asia and the diversity of the massive regions it contains. As people begin to read about people they once considered “other,” it’s truly possible to build bridges that create true peace.

  7. I couldn’t agree more! I feel like so many people know so little about the world if it’s not in their little bubble. In my case, I’m half Pakistani and when I was younger I used to just always tell people I was half Indian because they didn’t know what Pakistan was. It’s hard to believe but it still happens today and I think that the more we learn about where other people come from, the more tolerant the world will be.

    1. I’m sorry that happens to you. Many people assume I’m Indian or Middle Eastern. It’s amazing to me that people just guess, completely unaware of how rude it is to make assumptions about other people’s backgrounds.

  8. I totally agree with you on getting to know more about the world. I hope many soon come to the realization that we cannot go forward as a whole without the help of other nations and people and that only through respectfully co existing can we find peace. Thank you for the share ^_^ means so much!

    1. “I hope many soon come to the realization that we cannot go forward as a whole without the help of other nations and people and that only through respectfully co existing can we find peace.” Well said! Thanks again for including Anusha of Prospect Corner on your list. 🙂

  9. Thank you for sharing Cinderzena’s list! I have been meaning to pick up some more Sri Lankan literature lately.

  10. Arthur C. Clark, a famous hard science SF writer, lived on Sri Lanka for about fifty years, as I recall. That’s how the country first became known to me. 🙂

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