Nominated by:

Colombo Public Library, Sri Lanka

Publisher of nominated edition:

Perara Hussein Publishing House, Sri Lanka

Beggar’s Feast

Randy Boyagoda    

2013 Longlist

A rags to riches picaresque about the clash of worlds and the revenge of empires, about fate and history and harbours and birthright and brothels and moneylenders and metal benders…

“Now,” she said, arranging herself in the backseat with shaking hands, swallowing, “get out and open the door for me like my old driver did.” He pulled her, head first, into the front seat and then he wheeled the motorcar back onto the road. Picking up speed, it moved like a water snake because he was trying to reach over and open her door and she was kicking and slapping and asking and screaming that his mother used to wash him at the village tap too didn’t she and then finally the door flung open and Sam leaned against his own to brace himself as he kicked and kicked until there was only air and if he had turned to look he would have seen a tumbling whiteness flattening out upon the black ground like a wive at night, he would have seen her crashing to mist and nothing. If he had turned to look. But he did not.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Writer, critic and scholar Randy Boyagoda is a professor of American Studies at Canada’s Ryerson University. His debut novel, Governor of the Northern Province, was long-listed for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Born to Sri Lankan parents, he grew up in Toronto, where he lives with his wife and three daughters.

Librarian’s Comments

A postcolonial Gatsby, Beggar’s Feast is a picaresque about the clash of worlds and the revenge of empires. It demonstrates how, in a rise from rags to riches, one can gain the world but lose one’s soul. It is popular among readers.

Related Entries