Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunasekara
Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunasekara

Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunasekara

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Vasantha is a van driver in Sri Lanka. After nearly three decades of conflict, the civil war is over and the country is moving tentatively into the future - though at times the recent past seems too close for comfort.

Entrepreneurial hoteliers have mysterious scars under their collars; Chinese businessmen looking to invest in scrap metal are led to gigantic scrapyards of abandoned bicycles; genial old soldiers are headhunted for brutal war crimes; young Sinhalese men pine after Tamil girls whose brothers, in another time, died by their hands. In this collection of linked stories, Vasantha drives across the beautiful but scarred landscape of his home island, lingering on the periphery of his passengers' varied stories. Though he keeps his own counsel and remains stoically in the background, he cannot help but reveal a little something of his own story too.

Penguin. Random House.