Swimming in the Monsoon Sea
For a less talented writer, setting his novel in Sri Lanka in the 1980s might have risked alienating readers 25 years and half a world away, but Shyam Selvadurai gives such rich accounts of day to day life and such detailed descriptions of his main character's emotions that the difference brings out the sameness. He doesn't fall into the trap of making this coming-out novel a reductive, one-issue work either; it's a perfectly-paced, subtle and complex tale of growing up, finding one's place and learning to forgive and remember. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is brilliant. Take a chance on it and you won't regret it.