Sri Lanka in Ruins and the Australian Refugee Experience: An Original Interview with Rajith Savanadasa

Alexandra Elizabeth Watkins

Abstract


Rajith Savanadasa was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Melbourne. His first novel Ruins was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. Rajith also runs Open City Stories, an oral history project documenting the lives of asylum seekers in Melbourne, Australia. His work offers significant additions to the fields of Sri Lankan diaspora fiction and refugee life writing in Australia and internationally. In this conversation, which took place at the Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton, Australia, November 2016, Savanadasa discusses colonial legacies, media censorship, and the Western influence in Sri Lanka. He also reflects on the politics of class and gender in Ruins, and his interest in the Australian refugee experience.

Keywords


Sri Lankan diaspora, Sri Lankan Civil War, media censorship, refugee stories

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