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Reef
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Reef is the elegant and moving story of Triton, a talented young chef so committed to pleasing his master's palate that he is oblivious to the political unrest threatening his Sri Lankan paradise. It is a personal story that parallels the larger movement of a country from a hopeful, young democracy to troubled island society. It is also a mature, poetic novel which the British press has compared to the works of James Joyce, Graham Greene, V.S. Naipaul, and Anton Chekhov. With his collection of short stories Monkfish Moon - a New York Times Notable Book of 1993 - Romesh Gunesekera quickly established himself as a leading literary voice. Reef earned universal praise from European critics and landed the young author on the short list for the 1994 Booker Prize, England's highest honor for fiction. Reef explores the entwined lives of Mr. Salgado, an aristocratic marine biologist and student of sea movements and the disappearing reef, and his houseboy, Triton, who learns to polish silver until it shines like molten sun; to mix a love cake with ten eggs, creamed butter, and fresh cadju nuts; to marinade tiger prawns; and to steam parrot fish. Through these characters and the forty years of political disintegration their country endures, Gunesekera tells the tragic, sometimes comic, story of a lost paradise and a young man coming to terms with his destiny.
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About the Author

Romesh Gunesekera grew up in Sri Lanka and the Philippines and now lives in London. He is the author of the novel, Reef, which was a Booker Prize finalist, and a collection of short stories, Monkfish Moon, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Reviews

"A book which touches powerfully and deeply." -"The Times" (London) "Gunesekera's loving, elegiac prose lingers on so many minutely exquisite facets of tropical life that to read a few pages is to abandon your world for his. To enter the world of "Reef" is like diving underwater into shoals of glittering fish, among sculptures of living coral. Beauty is everywhere and time vanishes as you read." -"The San Francisco Chronicle" "Powerful, incandescent... Lost innocence in the final years before a war is the theme of this eloquent first novel." -"The New York Times Book Review" "Put your ear to the page, and you can almost hear the ocean whisper." -"The Independent"

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