Shortlisted for the Costa (Whitbread) 2007 First Novel Award
Set adrift by the recent death of his wife, Theo Samarajeeva abandons his comfortable writer’s life in London and returns to Sri Lanka, his war-torn homeland. There he finds himself slipping into friendship with Nulani, a talented and enigmatic young artist—a friendship that blossoms into love. Under the threat of a rising terrorist insurgency, their affair offers a glimmer of hope in a country on the brink of destruction.
But when the insurgency explodes, their precarious world is torn apart. Theo is held captive and stripped of everything he once held dear. Nulani is forced into exile. No one, it seems, is safe; only the sea and the land remain breathtakingly lovely. As the country descends into a morass of violence and hatred, the tragecy of civil conflict spreads like a poison among friends and lovers sickened by the fac of war. Ultimately, each of them will be tested in the most terrible ways.
By turns heartbreaking and uplifting, Mosquito is a first novel of remarkable beauty and compelling power.
About the Author
Roma Tearne is a visual artist and author of two novels, her most recent being Mosquito. She was born in Sri Lanka and has lived in Britain since the age of 10. She completed her MA at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 2002 to 2003, she was artist in residence at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She has also been artist in residence at Modern Art, Oxford. She lives in Oxford, UK.
Praise for Mosquito
"[A] beautifully crafted debut [...] Tearne captures the desperation, fear and hope of love during wartime, showing multiple sides of the human capacity for survival." —Publishers Weekly
"With vividly rendered tropical seascapes and jungles, and populated by philosophical servants and petulant power-mongers, this novel offers a moving May-December love story set against a conflict in which the warring parties ultimately become Violence and Art." —Kirkus
"A lovely, vividly described novel [...] set against a background of lush scenery and looming civil war." —The Times
"Roma Tearne's novel is a heartrending story [...] the book is also about hope and survival." —Christopher Ondaatje, The Spectator
"Flashes of true beauty, along with an impressively sustained forward drive, are enough to make Mosquito an engaging and thought-provoking novel." —Times Literary Supplement
"Mosquito lyrically captures a country drenched both in incomparable beauty and the stink of hatred." —The Guardian
"Anyone who has a passing interest in Sri Lanka should read this beautiful novel." —Sunday Telegraph
"It is in this continuing agency of remembered love—presented as the colors, sounds and smells of art, in dialogue with beauty and horror—that the uplifting politics of this fine novel lies." —The Independent
"Heartrending...readers of this powerful novel cannot fail to be moved." —The Spectator