The Sandglass | Granta

  • Published: 01/09/2011
  • ISBN: 9781847084194
  • 129x20mm
  • 256 pages

The Sandglass

Romesh Gunesekera

The Sandglass tells the story of two feuding families whose lives are interlinked by the changing fortunes of postcolonial Sri Lanka. Moving back and forth between London and Sri Lanka, the novel brings to life Prins Ducal and his search for answers about his family’s past, including his father’s rise to wealth, rivalry with the Vatunas family, and a suspicious death – a mystery that further unfolds upon Prins’s arrival in London for his mother’s funeral. Re-printed by Granta in a beautiful new edition.

Elegaic, freighted with melancholy, The Sandglass paints a vivid portrait of a society in that recent past and in a frightening present


A mature meditation on time and death. There is a desperate sadness to it, which is totally engrossing. It is a brave, beautiful novel, which confronts chaos with relaxed wit and elegance. Yes we are all doomed, but at least we live , as Romesh Gunesekera's characters will within me for a long time to come

Sunday Telegraph

Behind the narrative's deft and subtle interweavings of elaborate histories and fugitive memories, crashed dreams and still moments of promise, there lie strong echoes of Thomas Hardy's poetry with its delicate images of remembered pleasures and visions of despoiling loss.

Times Literary Supplement

The Author

Romesh Gunesekera grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives in London. His debut novel Reef was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1994 and won the Yorkshire Post First Work Prize. In 1997 he was awarded the prestigious Premio Mondello award in Italy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004. He is the author of numerous novels and short story collections, including Monkfish Moon, Reef, The Sandglass and Noontide Toll, all of which are published by Granta Books.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Romesh Gunesekera on

Essays & Memoir | Granta 149, Europe

Romesh Gunesekera | On Europe

Romesh Gunesekera

‘Identity, it seemed, was not so self-determined after all.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 149, Europe

Ariel’s Song

Romesh Gunesekera

‘It is to Shakespeare’s pages I return whenever I feel I am sinking. There I can be sure to find a lifeline.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 125


Romesh Gunesekera

‘You have to go on the offensive until you smell victory. Then you have the aphrodisiac and can go full tilt.’