New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A courageous young Sri Lankan woman tries to protect her dream of becoming a doctor in this “heartbreaking exploration of a family fractured by civil war” (Brit Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half).
“This book, a careful, vivid exploration of what’s lost within a community when life and thought collapse toward binary conflict, rang softly for me as a novel for our own country in this odd time.”—Nathan Heller, The New Yorker
AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • FINALIST FOR THE MINNESOTA BOOK AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE ASIAN PRIZE FOR FICTION
Jaffna, 1981. Sixteen-year-old Sashi wants to become a doctor. But over the next decade, a vicious civil war tears through her home, and her dream spins off course as she sees her four beloved brothers and their friend K swept up in the mounting violence. Desperate to act, Sashi accepts K’s invitation to work as a medic at a field hospital for the militant Tamil Tigers, who, following years of state discrimination and violence, are fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. But after the Tigers murder one of her teachers and Indian peacekeepers arrive only to commit further atrocities, Sashi begins to question where she stands. When one of her medical school professors, a Tamil feminist and dissident, invites her to join a secret project documenting human rights violations, she embarks on a dangerous path that will change her forever.
Set during the early years of Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war, Brotherless Night is a heartrending portrait of one woman’s moral journey and a testament to both the enduring impact of war and the bonds of home.