Sonali Deraniyagala (born 1964) is a Sri Lankan memoirist and economist.
Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, she studied economics at Cambridge University and has a doctorate from the University of Oxford. She is on the faculty of the Department of Economics at SOAS, University of London and is a research scholar at Columbia University in New York City. She lives in New York City, and London.
She married economist Stephen Lissenburgh, and while on vacation at Sri Lanka's Yala National Park in December 2004, she lost her two sons, husband, parents, best friend, and her best friend's mother in the Indian Ocean tsunami. The tsunami carried her two miles inland and she was able to survive by clinging to a tree branch.
Deraniyagala later relocated to New York where she became a visiting research scholar at Columbia University. Her 2013 memoir, Wave, recounts her experiences in the tsunami and the progression of her grief in the ensuing years. It was shortlisted for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobiography) and won the PEN Ackerley Prize 2013. This book is currently used as a prose passage in the education system (O/Level) for English Literature in Sri Lanka.
- Mother who lost everyone, The Evening Standart, 11 Jan 2005 by Lech Mintowt-Czyz
- Neary, Lynn (5 March 2013). "'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami". NPR.
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