Incantations Over Water by acclaimed author and poet Sharanya Manivannan is a book released on December 27, 2021. With this book Sharanya makes her debut as a graphic novelist with a surreal story of a mermaid who brings to life stories, both magical and real. The book is part of a duology on Ila of the Kallady lagoon and is accompanied by a picture book for children, Mermaids in the Moonlight.
Sharanya Manivannan makes her debut as a graphic novelist with a surreal story of a mermaid who brings to life stories, both magical and real.
About the Book:
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On full moon nights, from deep within the lagoons of Mattakalappu, Ilankai, mysterious sounds emerge. During the three decades of civil war, it is said, those sounds had ceased. The mermaid Ila, who has lived in those waters for a long, long time, speaks and sings about her world (and the worlds of mermaids everywhere). Her stories weave together cultural history, eco-consciousness, political reality, and personal longing – and always, the magical.
About the Author:
Sharanya Manivannan writes and illustrates fiction, poetry, children’s literature, and non-fiction.
Her books include The High Priestess Never Marries, which received a South Asia Laadli Award, and The Queen of Jasmine Country, which was shortlisted for the Hindu Prize and longlisted for the JCB Prize.
Incantations Over Water is part of a duology on Ila of the Kallady lagoon and is accompanied by a picture book for children, Mermaids in the Moonlight.
Sharanya has her roots in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, a place devastated by conflict and other exigencies, with lagoons that are known for their “singing fish”. As a member of the Ilankai Tamil diaspora, returning to these roots was complex. On her first visit there nearly a decade ago, she was struck by how the symbol of the mermaid was a part of the town’s aesthetic, but strangely, there was an absence of lore about the same.
The quest for mermaids allowed her to return over and over to Batticaloa in recent years, and discover much along the way about culture and geographical location that has often been sidelined in the international understanding of Ilankai Tamil life and loss. Incantations Over Water is a heartfelt evocation that emerged from this endeavor.
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