Jean Arasanayagam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jean Arasanayagam (born Jean Solomons; 2 December 1931[1] – 30 July 2019) was a Sri Lankan poet and fiction writer. She wrote her works in English. The theme in her work was ethnic and religious turmoil in Sri Lanka. Her husband, Thiyagarajah Arasanayagam and their two daughters, Devasundari and Parvathi, all share the same passion for writing, one, Parvathi has taken after Jean. She has made a mark of her own as a poet/writer.


She was a Dutch Burgher, the term for offspring of Dutchmen and indigenous women.

Early life[edit]

Born into a Dutch Burgher family on December, 2, 1931, she was brought up and spent her life mostly in Kandy. She is a past student of Girls’ High School Kandy, and graduated at the University of Peradeniya and later obtained her MA in Linguistics at the University of Stratchclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Being a passionate, lovable teacher to thousands of students in many institutions in Sri Lanka, she was also a visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Arts, Exeter University, UK. Jean was married to a Jaffna Tamil and often dealt with multiple cultures and traditions, which may have moulded her ethnic consciousness and identity.[2]


Arasanayagam died on 30 July 2019 in Kandy.[1]



  • Kindura (1973)
  • Poems of Season Beginning and a Season Over (1977)
  • Apocalypse '83 (1984)
  • The Cry of the Kite (1984)
  • A Colonial Inheritance and Other Poems (1985)
  • Out of Our Prisons We Emerge (1987)
  • Trial by Terror (1987)
  • Reddened Waters Flow Clear (1991)
  • Shooting the Floricans (1993)
  • Nallur
  • ruined gopuram
  • mother-in-law


  • The Cry of the Kite (A collection of short stories) (Kandy, 1984)
  • The Outsider (Nagasaki University: Bulletin of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, 1989)
  • Fragments of a Journey (Colombo : WERC, 1992)
  • All was Burning (New Delhi : Penguin Books India, 1995)
  • Peacocks and Dreams (New Delhi : Navrang, 1996)


  1. ^ a b "Sunday Times - Celebrated poet, writer Jean Arasanayagam passes away".
  2. ^ KODAGODA, ANURADHA (4 August 2019). "Jean Arasanayagam: 'A voice of conscience, wisdom, hope'". Sunday Observer, Srilanka.

External links[edit]