Yasmine Gooneratne combines the professions of educator,
literary critic, editor and bibliographer with the
subversive pleasures of writing poetry, fiction and
satire. She settled in Australia with her physician
husband and their two children in 1972. She has been
widely published and has nineteen books to her credit.
In 1981 Yasmine Gooneratne was awarded Macquarie
University's first earned higher doctoral degree of
Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.). Holder of a Personal Chair
in English Literature, and Foundation Director of her
university's Postcolonial Literatures and Language
Research Centre, she accepted appointment in 1990 as
Patron of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, and
received the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished
service to literature and education. More recently, she
received the 2001 Raja Rao Award, instituted by the
Samvad India Foundation to honour writers who have made
outstanding contributions to the literature of the South
Her first novel, A Change of Skies, winner of the 1992
Marjorie Barnard Award for Literary Fiction, as well as
her second, The Pleasures of Conquest (1995) were
shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. She is
currently writing a third novel, Tsunami.
Masterpiece is her first collection of short fiction.
Masterpiece and other stories
Stories about culture clash and adaptation, love and
loss, ancient legend and up-to-the-minute experience,
the enchantments of childhood and the disillusionment of
maturity, related by a strong authorial voice that is
often witty, sometimes tender, always subtle and true.
The book presents a dazzling interplay of emotional
power and keen understanding, which constantly takes the
reader by surprise, coupled with a richness of
characterization and texture that provides a lasting
source of pleasure. Yasmine Gooneratne turns to the
short story as a means of examining a range of personal
relationships in many countries and settings,
maintaining in story after story a delicate balance
between the comic and the profoundly serious that
demonstrates her mastery of the genre.
Credit for Gooneratne and her books
(About Relative Merits )
"This fascinating memoir by a member of one of Sri
Lanka's ruling families recreates a time when the elite
Bandaranaike clan was more Edwardian than the Edwardians
themselves. Intelligent, sympathetic, authentic."
– Steven R. Weisman, New York Times Book Review
(About A Change of Skies )
"A fascinating account of the Australian experience in
all its strangeness and magic, told brilliantly."
– CRNLE Reviews Journal
"Migration from Asia to Australia is handled in this
remarkable novel with humour and sympathetic
understanding of both cultures, backed up by accurate
and minute historical research."
– The Book Review
About The Pleasures of Conquest (1995)]
"The best book I have read on Euro-Asian relations of
– Khushwant Singh, in The Hindustan Times
"Research, absorbed effortlessly, to emerge as
purposeful literary irony."
– Financial Express
(About This Inscrutable Englishman )
"A story full of romance and violence, trust and deceit.
By looking at the historical record from both sides, the
authors give readers a wonderfully human view of people
caught in an earnest and deadly political game."
– Professor Richard Bailey, University of Michigan