In May 2009, the Sri Lankan government officially announced the end of a civil war that had been ravaging the island for almost three decades. During all these years, Tamil poets have commented on the war and its vicissitudes in what constitutes an extraordinary body of poetry. Together these poems can be read as an alternative history of the war.
Lost Evenings, Lost Lives, a bilingual anthology of Tamil poetry relating to the Civil War in Sri Lanka, aims to chart some of the main events which occurred during the course of nearly thirty years of bloody conflict, events which the thirty-two anthologised poets record as vivid eye-witness accounts. Here are poems that reflect the pain and trauma of the day-to-day experience of war as the Tamil people lived through them — the terror, the constant presence of danger, the fear of rape, the sudden disappearances, the death of loved ones, displacement, exile — but they also express courage and hope. Together, these poems can be read as an alternative history of the war.
With an introduction by the editors and translators, Lakshmi Holmström and Sascha Ebeling, outlining the historical and political context of Sri Lanka's war while at the same time mapping literary developments during this period, Lost Evenings, Lost Lives is a necessary and long-overdue volume whose many and varied voices will demand to be heard and will continue to resonate with the reader.
Paperback ISBN 978-1904614-99-9
Ebook ISBN 978-1910345-03-0
Published October 2015