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Mirage by Bandula Chandraratna

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Set in a closed desert kingdom in our own time, Mirage tells the story of Sayeed, a good but unexceptional man. He finds, love with a woman who might have been beyond his reach, had not widowhood and misfortune brought her within it. The scene for Sayeed`s marriage is set with unpretending tenderness: the city hospital where he works, the shanty town he inhabits, his brother`s village home, the struggle to make a decent life for his new wife and her child. `What makes the book so compelling is its pervasive and oppressive sense of place, drawing us in to the heat, the grubbiness of the shanty town where Sayeed lives, and the uncomfortable and dislocating clash between ancient tradition and modern expectation` - INDEPENDENT . `You would need to search very hard to find a more lucid and beautiful example of contemporary story-telling` TRIBUNE

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