Books·Canadian

Mansions of the Moon

Shyam Selvadurai's new fiction novel reimagines Ancient India through the life of Yasodhara, the woman who married the Buddha

Shyam Selvadurai

In this sweeping story, at once epic and startlingly intimate, Shyam Selvadurai introduces us to Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as the Buddha, a promising and politically astute young man settling into his life as a newlywed to Yasodhara, a young woman of great intelligence and spirit. The novel traces their early life together, and then the unthinkable turmoil as Siddhartha's spiritual calling takes over and their partnership slowly, inexorably crumbles. How does a woman live in ancient India if her husband abandons her?

Even a well-born woman with a revered husband? And what path might she take towards enlightenment herself? Selvadurai examines these questions with empathy and insight, creating a rich portrait of a singular marriage, and of the woman who until now has been a shadow in the historical record. Mansions of the Moon is a literary event, and a remarkable moment in an esteemed author's extraordinary career. (From Penguin Random House Canada)

Shyam Selvadurai is an award-winning Sri Lankan Canadian novelist. His books include Funny Boywhich won the 1995 Books in Canada First Novel Award, now known as the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and which was adapted into a film by Indian Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, available on CBC Gem. His other books include The Hungry Ghosts and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea.

Interviews with Shyam Selvadurai

Shyam Selvadurai says he’s honoured by Funny Boy debate

2 years ago
Duration 1:14
Funny Boy author and screenwriter Shyam Selvadurai says he’s not bothered by the passionate debate around the movie — he just wants people to see it.

Why I Write: Shyam Selvadurai

4 years ago
Duration 2:34
In this CBC Books video series, author Shyam Selvadurai speaks about the need for authentic and diverse perspectives in Canadian literature.
Canada Writes and The Next Chapter present the seventh great literary smackdown... and this time the gloves come off. "Write what you know" is probably the most widely touted maxim among writers, but is it always the best advice? Shyam Selvadurai and Robert Hough have very different thoughts on that. In this literary smackdown, they debate the benefits and the pitfalls of writing what you know, and which approach leads to the richest fiction.
Eleanor speaks with six writers on stage at the International Literary Arts Festival in Victoria: Ian McEwan, A.L. Kennedy, Clare Boylan, Rosemary Sullivan, Shyam Selvadurai and Esta Spalding.

Other books by Shyam Selvadurai

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