"Anil's Ghost" by Michael Ondaatje

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"Anil's Ghost" is an aggrieved elegy to Sri Lanka and its suffering people. Anil is a young Sri Lankan scientist who returns to her land after studying and working in the U.K., and the U.S. She returns to investigate forensic evidence which could point to official policy which has a deadly effect on the local populace. Sarath tries at first to suppress the evidence, and when Anil finally gets to work unimpeded and present her findings (after Sarath saves her life, helps her escape, and causes the stolen evidence to be returned to her), her onetime adversary, Sarath, pays for it all with his life.
We have Sri Lankan polemics here: expositions on history, religion, archeology, civil war, and official murder. This book didn't make a grand impression on me, and I'm not sure why. Polemics should come through action and consequence, told directly, and not from flat, characterless narrative.
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