PRESENTING MULTI - LAYERED NARRATIVES

Sam Perera

Publishing is the industry that fosters artistry in the written word. Novels have an innate ability to connect people and communities through complexities that deal imaginatively with human experience thus elevating publishers to that of nurturers of artistic sensibilities. We found Perera - Hussein Publishing House to have a unique interdisciplinary approach embedded in its process as they publish different forms of written genres. Sam Perera, Co-Founder of Perera-Hussein conversed with us about the intriguing factors, mechanisms and practices that characterise the interdisciplinary aspects of the literature published by PH Publishing House.

Established in the year 2003 by Sam Perera and Ameena Hussein, PH Publishing House has brought to the fore its presence both locally and internationally by fostering exemplary writers thereby exposing the readers to a variety of compelling contemporary writing in English. Sam was educated at Royal College, Colombo and pursued his academic studies in Electrical Engineering and subsequently in Finance and Architecture. After working for 14 years at the United Nations, Sam returned to Sri Lanka with a yearning to initiate a project that would be innovative and challenging. The years spent overseas facilitated him to perceive Sri Lankan literature and its credibility in a wider context.

“Authors we choose are either specialists in their field or are themselves masters of a different discipline with interests elsewhere,” says Sam. Thus, the selection of published writing by Perera-Hussein consists of a vibrant collection of authors, who specialize in different fields including fiction, memoir, academic writing, children’s books and completely novel genres of literature. “Although we have a solid reputation in fiction, we branched out into non-academic non-fiction and established a separate imprint,”

Sam states furtherm elaborating on the interdisciplinary approach at Perera Hussein Publishing House. Ashok Ferrey, a builder by his admission becomes an entertaining story-teller in ‘Colpetty People’. David Blacker, an advertising executive wrote the immensely credible Thriller, ‘A Cause Untrue’. Nihal de Silva, a retired businessman wrote the ever popular book for children, ‘Paduma Meets the Sunbird’. Sanjaya Senanayake a doctor specializing in infectious disease wrote the novel ‘Chilli, Chicks and Heart Attacks’. Ameena Hussein, trained sociologist is tracking the real-life 14th century traveler Ibn Battuta’s trajectory in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan sociologist Kumari Jayewardena’s collection of essays titled ‘Labour, Feminism and Ethnicity of Sri Lanka’ gives a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding women in the Sri Lankan economy. ‘Grandfather’s Letters’ by C. Suntheralingam, is a compilation of his letters to his grandchildren that was immaculately formed together with the renowned architect, C. Anjalendran. The book reveals a political thesis of contemporary society by C. Suntheralingam, making one contemplate on its effects on the modern day. Professor Gananath Obeysekere wonders whether the last king of Kandy or Ceylon for that matter was as evil as he was made out to be or whether he was unjustly maligned in ‘The Doomed King’ as he questions the accepted historical narrative, while environmental architect Sunela Jayewardene takes the reader on a journey through Lanka’s historical myths, peoples and landscapes in Line of Lanka.

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ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.

4th June, 2019 Written Art | Personalities

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