News article on Thisuri Wanniarachchi, The Island 2010

Thisuri wins State
Literary Award

Thisuri Wanniarachchi,

a scholar of the Bri sh
School in Colombo,
where she is currently
studying for her A Levels, was
awarded the State Literary award
earlier this month at a ceremony
held at Temple Trees.
The award was presented to
Thisuri by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa. It is given to the writer
of the best novel wri en in English
during the previous year. Thisuri
(17) is the youngest ever winner of
this highly pres gious award.
“Colombo Streets” is Thisuri’s
fi rst novel, and it is a remarkable
achievement for someone of her
age to have won the award, in
compe  on with highly respected
adult writers where the other
nominees this year were Ashok
Ferrey for “Serendipity” and
Prashani Rambukwella for “Mythil’s
Secret” (which won the 2009
Gra aen Award). Past Winners of
the State Literary Award include
Nihal De Silva and Carl Muller.
“Colombo Streets” focuses
on two young girls residing in
Colombo. Sarah is an aspiring
na onal swimmer selected to
represent Sri Lanka in the World
Championships. However, her
poten al for being champion is cut
short when she is diagnosed with
cancer. Indeewari is her adopted
sister, freed from a life of poverty
and despair by Sarah’s family. The
stories of Indeewari and Sarah
run parallel in the novel, and they
are handled with remarkable
sensi vity by this young author,
who subtly explores both the hope
and despair of youth in Sri Lanka.
In conversa on with Thisuri
Wanniarachchi I discovered that
the founda on for her interest
in wri ng was laid during her
classroom lessons at St. Bridget’s
Convent, where she was a student
before star ng at The Bri sh
School. From the age of twelve
Thisuri developed a taste for wri ng
and ever since she has wri en
a large number of poems and
short stories some of which have
been published on the popular
website “Writeclick”. While at St.
Bridget’s, Thisuri wrote scripts for
plays performed in school, and she
has also won two na onal Short
Story compe  ons organised by
the Ministry of Jus ce and Law
Reforms.
Whilst wri ng is and always has
been a passion for Thisuri, her skills
and abili es are not merely limited
to pen and paper. She has also
secured na onal colours for Tennis
and is also a talented basketball
player. She is constantly juggling
with her life as a writer and a
student, and enjoys everything
that she does. Currently studying
for her A Levels, she is working
toward comple ng her next novel,
which will hopefully be published
early next year.

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