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‘The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons’ launched

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the author of ‘Colpetty People’, ‘The Good Little Ceylonese Girl’, ‘Serendipity’, ‘The Professional’ and ‘Love in the Tsunami’  Ashok Ferrey released his latest book titled ‘The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons’ The book launch was held recently at the Cricket Club Café with readings,.

This is  his interview recently with onlinelife
Give us a brief description about the plot.

A young man escapes from his very traditional, rigid, rather mad life in Kandy to a university in England, where he meets and falls in love with an American girl. The trouble begins when she asks to meet his family. I won’t tell you anything more because it’ll spoil the book for you!

What inspired you to write this book?

I have always been fascinated by this idea of evil. Does it really exist? Or is it some sort of old-fashioned concept now discredited? Even though this book is a love story (with the usual Ashok Ferrey funny bits!), at a deeper level it tries to explore and explain concepts of good and evil and how they relate to our modern lives.

How does including Sri Lankan elements such as local names etc., help you with the main idea behind your books?

Sri Lanka is a country where normal rules don’t apply! Our ideas of good and evil for instance: I am continually fascinated by the absence here of any rigid ideas of morality: almost everything is justified and explained away by fate, or more usually, by sheer expediency. So if I do something bad to you, it is evidently because you deserved it for sinning in a past life or that I somehow couldn’t help myself doing it to you, so please forgive me! Does this absolve me of the blame? Ha, that is the million dollar question!

Who is your target audience?

I never think of an audience when I write. You end up with a very bad book that way!

What is your favourite book among those that you have written and why?

Unfair! This is like asking a parent to choose a favourite child! All my children continue to have good and bad phases as they grow up. When Serendipity first came out, a prominent critic said rather sniffily, ‘This author has no syntax.’ Today, eight years later, it continues to outsell all my other books. The Professional was published to almost universal condemnation. Over the years, quietly, it has built up a firm following. (The other day a rather senior academic even called it ‘a lost masterpiece’ – which pleased me no end, as you can imagine!) As for my first-born, Colpetty People, it will hold a special place in my heart simply because it was the first and for no other reason. Just don’t tell the other children!

There are many young writers out there who have made use of their creativity to bring out different messages to society. What message would you like to give them?

I don’t believe you write books simply to get your message across. You write to satisfy the purely animal urge of creativity that is boiling up inside you: a very selfish, cathartic, therapeutic thing. If in the middle of all that you want to convey a message, then you have to be clever and cunning about it. You need to sugar-coat the message so the reader doesn’t realise, because no reader likes to be preached at or talked down to. So, there is no specific message that I have to give anyone. Just read the books – and you will get a very clear sense of what I may be trying to tell you!

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