12 February 1965
Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Notable work(s)||Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens|
Shyam Selvadurai (born 12 February 1965) is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives in Toronto with his partner Andrew Champion.
Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father—members of conflicting ethnic groups whose troubles form a major theme in his work. Ethnic riots in 1983 drove the family to emigrate to Canada when Selvadurai was nineteen. He studied creative and professional writing as part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts program at York University.
Selvadurai recounted an account of the discomfort he and his partner experienced during a period spent in Sri Lanka in 1997 in his essay "Coming Out" in Time Asia's special issue on the Asian diaspora in 2003.
In 2004, Selvadurai edited a collection of short stories: Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers, which includes works by Salman Rushdie, Monica Ali, and Hanif Kureishi, among others. He published a young adult novel, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, in 2005. Swimming won the Lambda Literary Award in the Children's and Youth Literature category in 2006. He was a contributor to TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 1.
In 2013, he released a fourth novel, The Hungry Ghosts.
- Funny Boy. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1994. ISBN 0-7710-7950-8 (and others). Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Male Novel, and Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award for 1994
- Cinnamon Gardens. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1998. ISBN 0-7868-6473-7
- Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. Toronto: Tundra, 2005. ISBN 0-88776-735-4 Lambda Literary Award in the Children's and Youth Literature category in 2006
- Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. ISBN 0-618-57680-0 (editor)
- The Hungry Ghosts. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2013. ISBN 0-3856-7066-4
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