'As I live my days locked up in a wretched prison in this frozen country, I start to write the story of my beloved child, Nirami. The story begins with the birth of God.'
Nirami, Nesakumaran's fourteen-year-old daughter, is awaiting her abortion in the hospital room of an unnamed European city; she refuses to name her rapist.
Nesakumaran's narrative begins in 1980s Sri Lanka when, radicalized by the dream of Tamil Eelam, he abandons his seminary studies. A bungling terrorist, botching up one task after another, Nesakumaran is in no way a genuine threat. But once he has entered the system as a suspect he can never find a way out of the maze of interrogation chambers, army camps and regional prisons. What follows is a surreal account of torture, which culminates in the extremely brutal massacre of Tamil prisoners by the Sinhalese inmates in the Welikade prison in 1983, and also, the revelation of Nirami's rapist.
A stark rhetoric of torture, pain and black humour, Traitor, through its pathologically damaged protagonist, gives voice to the testimonies of millions of refugees of a war-ravaged land.
TRANSLATED FROM THE TAMIL BY ANUSHIYA RAMASWAMY
'Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?'
A terrible war for thirty years! A hundred thousand people killed Fifty thousand injured Twenty thousand widowed Ten thousand mad Boosa camp, Magazine prison, Kalutara, Migrations, relocations, Movements, Mahaveerars, The Prohibition of Tamil Eelam Prison of Tamil Eelam Traitors Peace Talks Humanitarian organizations 'Pongu Tamil' ('Tamil Upsurge') These stories and metanarratives Are told all the time. This book is for my people Who say 'Hmm ...' And keep on listening.
'an authentic voice'
'Playful and sardonic...