About this Event
We are delighted to welcome Sri Lankan writer Neluka Silva to Manchester Poetry Library. This event is co-organised by the Department of English and the Centre for Migration and Postcolonial Studies (MAPS) at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Our host for this evening is Monique Roffey, a Trinidadian-born British writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Monique's novels include The White Woman with the Green Bicycle (2009) and The Mermaid of Black Conch which won the Costa Book of the Year award in 2021.
Refreshments will be available on arrival and the reading will begin at 5.15.
Neluka Silva reads from her novel The Iron Fence, which addresses issues of class, ethnicity, conflict, political violence and disappearance. The novel is set during the 2nd Marxist insurrection in Sri Lanka in the late 1980's (which is also the backdrop of the Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatillek's Seven Moons of Maali Almeida). It charts the lives of four university students as they navigate personal relationships through a milieu of political violence and repression.
She will also outline her development as a Sri Lankan writer in English and her recent turn to children’s literature in order to explore themes which have not been widely interrogated in children's literature in Sri Lanka. Her recent collection, My Elephant Secret and other stories (2019), is aimed at children aged 9-14 years. The stories pivot around racism, divorce, skin colour, bullying, loneliness and hope. By engaging with these issues, it has provoked discussions which adults avoid when dealing with children.
Neluka is Senior Professor in English at the University of Colombo and immediate past President of the Oxford Society of Sri Lanka. She was educated at the Universities of Colombo, Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge. She was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy, Sri Lanka (2005–2015). Her teaching and research are in the areas of Postcolonial Literature, Modern Drama, Cultural Studies, South Asian Literature, Applied Linguistics and Bilingualism.
Among her academic publications are The Gendered Nation: Contemporary Writing from South Asia (Sage 2004).
Her novel The Iron Fence (2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize and was longlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize 2012 and the Dublin IMPAC prize 2012. In addition, Our Neighbours and other stories (2009 — short Stories) is published by Vijitha Yapa Publications. “Our Neighbours” was one of the 20 stories placed in the Highly Commended Winner category in the 2008 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Her other creative works are: The Rolled Back Beach (2008 — short stories co-authored with Simon Harris) and My Elephant Secret and Other Stories (2019 — short stories for children).
Neluka was an invited author and moderator at the Galle Literary Festivals and conducted Writing Workshops for the GLF Children’s Programmes. She conducted workshops for young adults at the American Centre’s Writers’ Lab programme. Following her Creative Writing Workshops for children, her young authors published Eagle Eyes and Other Stories in 2018.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Manchester Poetry Library, Oxford Road, Manchester, United Kingdom