Upul Shantha Sannasgala’s novel ‘Amma’ or Mother book was launched on 24 August 2014 at Youth Center Maharagama. This book was previously published in ‘Lanka’ newspaper. Upul Shantha Sannasgala is a popular writer and Sinhala teacher.
According to W.A. Wijewardena, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the reader of this book is led to believe that it is Sannasgala’s life-story that is described in ‘Mother’ but it is not so. He has liberally drawn on his unpleasant experiences as a child and a youngster in a post-independence village in Sri Lanka. Yet, it is not a one-for-one autobiography. At most, it is ‘facts converted into fiction’ displaying the features of a semi-autobiography.
W.A. Wijewardena writes in Financial Times described that the story in this book is wound around a woman in Haputale area where life had been a real drudgery for poor women in remote mountainous villages. This woman, having been married to a ‘drunkard, wife-beating, petty-thief-type, good-for-nothing man,’ has given birth to nearly a dozen of children. She does not treat all her children equally: some are favoured, some are hated and some are just ignored. Thus, Sannasgala’s ‘Mother’ defies the role-model mother living in popular beliefs.
The story is told by her last-born son or ‘Bada Pissa’ who is feeble, disabled and sick. It is a miracle that this little boy had survived and not died at his infancy. He is not born with any of the desired configurations that guarantee the survival of a child. His life is full of hardships, unquenched hunger and replete with family support. Except for Mother’s care, he is like a tree by the side of the road exposed to all natural hazards.
Amma Book Review by Dr Madhuranga Fernando
Read Review of this book by Dr Madhuranga Fernando, Senior Lecture, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
Upul Shantha Sannasgala Speech’s at “Amma” Book Launching 2014.08.24
Lalkantha Speaks at “Amma” Book Launching on 24.08.2014