Shyam Selvadurai's debut novel (1994) is semi-autobiographical. Set in the early 1980s when the Sinhala-Tamil tensions in Sri Lanka were escalating, this episodic novel (in six stories) captures seven-year-old Arjie's confusion regarding his sexuality until he is fourteen and comes to terms with the fact that he is a homosexual. The central theme is primarily how society straitjackets individuals valorising the macho and lampooning the sissy. This critical study makes Funny Boy more accessible to our university students through an analysis and exploration of the text as well as tackling a number of critical problems arising therefrom. Shakti Batra has been Vice-principal, Dyal Singh College (University of Delhi), has also taught at the Kabul University and the University of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.
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