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The Naming of Names by Shash Trevett

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Published 5th August 2024. Available for pre-order.


Over 100,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the Sri Lankan civil war, their deaths often dismissed as collateral damage. What happens to names once the person who wore them dies? When there is no one left alive who remembers the laughter they once carried. In the ordinary course of a life every syllable of a name would be fully used up: a full life led. The violence of war doesn’t merely decimate the physical body: it shocks into silence names, lineages and history. This book is a tender exhumation of the lyricism of Tamil names: of flowers, the moon and stars; of beauty, music and grace.

Expanding upon the work in her powerful and moving 2021 pamphlet From a Borrowed Land, Shash Trevett’s The Naming of Names bears witness to the Tamil experience during the Sri Lankan civil war through poetry that spans a broad range of responses to this violent and tragic history.




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