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Summer 2022 OMNI

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea
By (author): Shyam Selvadurai
Shyam Selvadurai


Tundra Books



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Teenage: Age (years) 14, Grade (US) 9
May 03, 2022
$14.99 CAD


8.19in x 5.44 x 0.73 in | 0.56 lb

Page Count:

288 pages
Tundra Books
Governor General's Literary Award - Children (English) 2005, Short-listed
Amrith comes to terms with his sexuality in this sweeping coming-of-age story set against the stormy backdrop of monsoon season in 1980s Sri Lanka. For fans of Call Me By Your Name.

Shyam Selvadurai’s brilliant novels, Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens, have garnered him international acclaim. In his first young adult novel, now with a new cover, he explores first love with clarity, humor and compassion.

The setting is Sri Lanka, 1980, and it is the season of monsoons. Fourteen-year-old Amrith is caught up in the life of the cheerful, well-to-do household in which he is being raised by his vibrant Auntie Bundle and kindly Uncle Lucky. He tries not to think of his life “before,” when his doting mother was still alive. Amrith’s holiday plans seem unpromising: he wants to appear in his school’s production of Othello and he is learning to type at Uncle Lucky’s tropical fish business. Then, like an unexpected monsoon, his cousin arrives from Canada and Amrith’s ordered life is storm-tossed. He finds himself falling in love with the Canadian boy. Othello, with its powerful theme of disastrous jealousy, is the backdrop to the drama in which Amrith finds himself immersed.

A UNIQUE STORY OF INTERSECTIONS: Since its initial release, very few YA coming-of-age books feature a character like Amrith who is Sri Lankan, Canadian, queer.

AWARD-WINNING NOVEL: Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is the winner of the Lambda Literary Award and a Governor General’s Literary Award finalist. 

CROSSOVER APPEAL: Shyam Selvadurai is an author beloved across age groups and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is sure to appeal to both teens and adults alike.


SHYAM SELVADURAI was born in 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He came to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen. He has studied creative writing and theater, and has a B.F.A. from York University. Funny Boy, his first novel, was published to immediate acclaim in 1994, was a national bestseller, and won the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and, in the U.S., The Lambda Literary Award, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Cinnamon Gardens, his second novel, was shortlisted for the Trillium Award. It has been published in the U.S., the U.K., India and numerous countries in Europe. Shyam Selvadurai lives in Toronto.

Author Residence: Toronto, Ontario

Publicity: AAPI key title

Book club discussion guide

Pursue media and events

15th anniversary since first publication

Author Website: shyamselvadurai.com/

"As lush and languid as its Sri Lanka setting…What captures readers is the way the story rolls in waves, mimicking how Amrith looks at himself, then looks away. The luxuriant language with details of architecture and verdant gardens doesn’t call attention to itself, but refreshes like a breeze. Selvadurai, who wrote so gracefully for adults…now does the same for teens."
Booklist, Starred Review

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