Tamil Tigers

Terrorists you might know or love: Brotherless Night, by V.V. Ganeshananthan, reviewed

Brotherless Night is the second novel by V.V. Ganeshananthan, an American writer of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, whose debut, Love Marriage, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2008. Here, as in her previous book, a female narrator unpicks the lives of a Sri Lankan family torn apart by civil war. Sashi’s reason for studying medicine, and her oft-repeated mantra, is: ‘First do no harm’ The prologue, set in New York in 2009, explodes with its opening sentence: ‘I recently sent a letter to a terrorist I used to know.’ But the bulk of the novel, set in 1980s Sri Lanka, is a mesmerising portrait of time and