Sunila Galappatti

We are super excited to welcome back Sunila Galappatti to the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017.

2017 Fairway Galle Literary Festival welcomes author Sunila Galappatti

2017 Fairway Galle Literary Festival welcomes author Sunila Galappatti (Photography © J.A. Byrde)

After moving to Sri Lanka, Sunila Galappatti became the Director of the Galle Literary Festival from 2009 through 2010, making this a very special honor to host her as an author this time around in 2017.

Sunila Galappatti has worked with other people to tell their stories as a dramaturg, theatre director and editor.

Watch this 2010 interview with Sunila Galappatti

She started her working life at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle – commissioning and advising professional playwrights as well as developing and directing documentary theatre pieces with individuals from the surrounding communities.

She has been a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University and the Open University of Sri Lanka, and a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Brown University – the latter reflecting on processes carried out in different parts of the world to curate public histories.

She has worked with ‘Raking Leaves’ on its Open Edit project and as a non-fiction editor at Commonwealth Writers.

She lives in Sri Lanka. ‘A Long Watch’ (2016) is her first book.

A Long Watch by Sunila Galappatti.

A Long Watch offers a story of human complexity amid entrenched narratives of Sri Lanka’s long civil war.

The novel follows the true story of Commodore Boyagoda, who became the highest-ranking prisoner captured by the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Elam (LTTE) in 1994.

For eight years, he was detained at close quarters with his declared enemy until his release in 2002.

His imprisonment was punctuated by high-level talks about his fate, but also by extended conversations with his jailers and scratch games of badminton played in jungle clearings. Throughout, he observed his captors and fellow prisoners acutely, and with discreet empathy for the lives of others undone by war.

Soon after the release, Commodore Boyagoda was determined not to make things worse – he had seen divisions between Sinhala and Tamil peoples enough.

“A moving testimonial to the depth and strangeness of human attachment. It recounts the other, greater destruction that war brings to society — the destruction of optimism, tolerance and social fibre.” – Rana Dasgupta, author of Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi.

“The best book yet on the war in Sri Lanka. It is subtle and intimate, human and generous. The author has distilled conversations about that period into a remarkable book. It is brilliant.” — Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient.

Follow Sunila on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/sunilagala

Sunila Galappatti at FGLF 2017

Don’t miss meeting Sunila Galappatti at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017. Her events will be announced in November 2016 … Please click the FOLLOW button below to receive email updates as festival news and announcements are published.