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July 30 , 2009

The Jam Fruit Tree


Winner of the Gratiean Memorial Prize for the best work in English Literature by a Sri Lankan for 1993 Hilarious, affectionate, candid and moving, this is the story of the Burghers of Sri Lanka... Who are the Burghers? Descended from the Dutch, the Portuguese, the British and other foreigners who arrived in the island-nation of Sri Lanka (and 'mingled' with the local inhabitants), the Burghers often stand out because of their curiously mixed features—grey eyes in an otherwise Dravid face, for instance.... A handsome and guileless people, the Burghers have always lived it up, forever willing to 'put a party'. Carl Muller, a Burgher himself, writes in this quasi-fictional, engaging biography of the lives of his people; they emerge, at the end of his story, as a race of fun-loving, hardy people, much like the jam fruit tree which simply refuses to be contained or destroyed.

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