Liquid Fire


This third novel in Devakanthan’s quintet, Prison of Dreams, depicts the lives of the rural Tamil population of Sri Lanka during its tragic civil war (1983-2009). It was a dark time of repression and exile, a time of utter despair, in which innocence turned to ruin, a way of life disappeared. As the author writes,

” . . . stabbings, deaths, and shattered limbs were . . . a part of their story. Death swooped in, randomly snatched people up, old, young, or newborn. The bombs exploded like thunder, stopping many hearts . . . when wood and wheelchairs substituted for legs. Artificial hands were not much use. It was a time of deprivation, and survival was everything. Our earth / our days / when none of it / is for us / a time like this / could not come again . . . such torment. So Yasothara / you / live in this moment . . .


Publication Date: January 2024

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77415-118-1
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.25″
336 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77415-119-8

Devakanthan photo

Devakanthan (Bala Kumarasamy) was exiled by the war in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s and lived in India before moving to Canada. He lives in Toronto and is an active member of the Canadian Tamil literary scene as author and arts critic. He is a reader of Sanskrit and ancient Tamil, and has drawn from those influences in his works. His Sacred Army, the first volume of the quintet, won the Government of Tamil Nadu Novel of the Year Award (1998), and the quintet as a whole received the Tamil Literary Garden’s Best Novel Award (2014).

Nedra Rodrigo was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada during the civil war. She is a translator, poet, workshop organizer at the York Centre for Asian Research, and arts educator for youth in the York Region District School Board. She is also the founder of the Tamil Studies Symposium at York University. She is the founder and current host of the bilingual, inclusive literary event, the Tam Fam Lit Jam.

Nedra’s poetry and essays have been published in various anthologies. Her translation credits include the poetry of R Cheran, Puthuvai Ratnathurai, and V I S Jayapalan in the collection Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia; the memoir In the Shadow of a Sword, published by SAGE YODA Press, India (2020); Kuna Kaviyazhakan’s “Forest That Took Poison,” shortlisted for the inaugural Global Humanities Translation Prize; and the Prison of Dreams quintet. She lives in Toronto.

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