by Shyam Selvadurai - £8.99 Saqi Books (Telegram Books) (2016)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781846592003 | ISBN 10: 1846592003
In Buddhist myth, those that have desired too much during their lifetime may be reborn as ‘hungry ghosts’ – spirits with a stomach so large they can never be full.
Six-year-old Shivan is boarded up in his grandmother’s mansion in Sri Lanka. While civil unrest brews outside, Shivan is fighting small battles of his own: the matriarch of his mysterious family wants to groom him as heir to her vast and corrupt empire. Shivan stands helpless as she sidelines his mother and sister and evicts vulnerable families from their homes.
Unwilling to carry the burden of her expectations, Shivan escapes to the West. Yet ghosts will follow you across continents. As the years pass, and his sexuality gradually comes to light, events spiral out of control and threaten to separate Shivan from his family once and for all.
The Hungry Ghosts is an exquisite tale of differences and how they can tear apart both a country and the heart – not just once, but many times, until the ghosts are freed.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2016)
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