Look Inside

This Divided Island (Stories from the Sri Lankan War)

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
(40% off)
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAM472
Author: Samanth Subramanian
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9780143425472
Pages: 336
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 310 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description

About the Book

Samanth Subramanian is a New Delhi-based journalist. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Caravan, Minit, New Republic and Foreign Policy. His first book, Following Fish: Travels around the Indian Coast, won the 2010 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize in India and was shortlisted for the 2013 Andre Simon Award in the United Kingdom. This Divided Island was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015 and won the Raymond Crossword Book Award for Non-Fiction 2014.



A Time of war is a time of unfathomable flux. The terrains of the soul and of the body, of the family, of the community and of geopolitics itself all undergo extensive renovation. It can seem, sometimes, that even the very land rearranges itself. And, of course, in the fraction of a second that it takes for a bullet to find flesh, life can turn into death. There is no more drastic or permanent transformation than that.

But peacetime can witness swift, profound change as well. In 2013, when I was writing the first draft of this book, Sri Lanka was a tense, wary place. Its twenty-six-year-long civil war had ended in 2009, in a final paroxysm of bloodletting. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of the country at the time, had supervised a brutal assault upon a mass of Tamil civilians huddled on the north-eastern shore of the island, hoping to flush out the leaders and guerrilla cadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The United Nations estimated that 40,000 people died in this bombardment, but the Sri Lankan government didn't appear to care. It had ended the insurgency, hunted down its quarry, won the war. Not long afterwards, Rajapaksa won a re-election, and his family's hold over the country grew tighter still. The government permitted no serious discussion of war crimes, and it throttled its opposition: politicians, activists, journalists. Right-wing nationalism grew muscular and fevered.

Then in 2015, in the space of eight months and two elections, the power of the Rajapaksas evaporated. Suddenly, Sri Lanka gained a more moderate president and a Parliament that appeared to reject the narrow vision of the nationalists. I visited Sri Lanka in between these two elections-my first trip there since I packed up my Colombo apartment to move back to India in 2012-and I sensed that the island had relaxed, that the knots in its shoulders were slowly unravelling, that it was learning how to breathe more easily.

When I mention this to my Sri Lankan friends, they remind me that so much still remains to be done. War crimes and corruption allegations must be prosecuted. The lands and houses and lives ravaged by the fighting have to be rebuilt. Entire chapters of messy, sordid, shocking history need to be reopened and re-examined and reckoned with. A framework has yet to be found, within the constitution, for minorities and the majority to live equably and equitably.

Now more than ever, to understand these post-war challenges, it is necessary first to understand the war itself: how it began and grew, how it persisted and ended, what it consumed. Sri Lanka is still being shaped by its war, as it will be for the near future; it is like a man who has suffered an amputated limb, and whose existence is changed in every conceivable way by his loss. At a personal level, too, people have to square their present and their future with their past. There are millions of Sri Lankans whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the conflict that consumed their country. This book tells a few of their stories, and in so doing, attempts to lay down a portrait of the war.




Timeline xiii
Introduction xv
The Terror 1
The North 91
The Faith 179
Endgames 233
Acknowledgements 319


Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories