Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is a compelling novel that describes the journey of Sri Lankan adolescent Amrith as he discovers his true identity. Written by Shyam Selvadurai, the novel contains intimate details about the Sri Lankan culture and the experiences of Amrith as he meets and develops a strong attraction for his cousin. Although Amrith was involved in a school play, he neglects his responsibilities to the play in order to spend more time with his cousin. As he continues to shirk his responsibilities, his peers bully him and tease him about his constant desire to spend time with his male cousin. When Amrith’s cousin begins to spend less time with Amrith, a strong wave of jealousy overcomes Amrith. This jealousy results in a strong act of violence between Amrith and his female cousin Mala. It is only after this violent outburst that Amrith discovers the motivation behind his jealousy and realizes that he is a homosexual. The novel is a worthwhile book to read because of the intimate portrayal of an adolescent discovering his sexual identity.
By: Shyam Selvadurai