Marriage and Mutton Curry
is a collection of fifteen short stories about the Jaffna community in Malaya. At once humorous and laden with meaning, M Shan’s vignettes reveal the concerns and intrigues of this small, significant ethnic group in the domestic and public arenas of postcolonial modernity. A kimono-clad Tamil woman greets Japanese soldiers at the door while her husband cowers in his Jaguar. Two sisters share a husband when one fails to produce a child. An American diplomat’s urgent enquires about the Malaysian Treasury’s facilities are hilariously misunderstood. A daring civil servant from Malaya proposes to a lady in his Ceylonese hometown mere minutes after meeting her, breaking a thousand years of marriage protocol.