Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Funny Boy

By Shyam Selvadurai

At 7, Argun is a sissy.

As a Teen, he's sent off to a strict school to 'become a man.' In the middle of his country, Sri Lanka, being torn apart by ethnic conflict (between Tamil and Sinhalese) and suffering under the burdens of British colonial homophobia, Argun (a Tamil) falls for a fellow male student (who's Sinhalese.)

Two taboos broken, in one love. And then they're discovered...

"Funny Boy" won the Lambda Literary Award in 1996 for Gay Men's Fiction, as well as a whole bunch of other accolades. I've included it here on this blogsite (even though they weren't really marketing it as a YA novel) because it's story of a Teenage boy figuring out who he is...

There's a very poignant article by Shyam in "Time Magazine: The Asian Journey Home", The August 18-August 25, 2003 Issue, about when he and his male partner went back to Sri Lanka (from where they now live in Canada) and set up house for a few months - in a country where being gay is still a crime.

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