Dissecting Literature with Noted Bilingual Sri Lankan Writer Daya Dissanayake
Daya Dissanayake - three times winner of the State Literary Award, given by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Sri Lanka, and of the SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation) Award 2013 - is a dissident who loves to demolish many beliefs incorporated through a colonial system into the native collective consciousness as the dominant ways of seeing the world. A writer of more than a dozen books of prose fiction and poetry, Daya has created a rightful place for himself in a highly competitive literary space largely determined by the western culture industry. In this e-mail interview conducted in March 2014, Daya gives a succinct exposition of his well-considered views on everything related to culture. His tone is marked by conciseness and an inner calmness that you can feel oozing out of the words in his responses, radiating a rare verbal clarity and tranquility, almost reminding one of a Zen master and their pithy remarks on complex issues of life. The first one to publish an e-novel and the first one to post it online for free access, Daya Dissanayake sets up precedents few peers will ever willingly follow.