Actress/Writer Rani Moorthy comes up with dazzling short-stories that explore and capture the intricate lives of a closely-knit community of Jaffna Tamils in the desolate, border-town of Johor Baru in the 1960s. In ‘Veena Teacher’, a young girl comes to terms with caste and tradition when she seeks to learn a new art. The Westernized young man, in the center of ‘Pritchard’ tries hard to escape the clutches of his community. A story spread across generations, ‘Lifelines’ etches perilious little tensions as a family comes apart. In ‘Sanyasini’, an aging spinster finds love, only to lose it as tongues begin to wag. Lyrical and profound, infused with secrets and the melancholy of slow hours,Ceylon Dust is a powerful testimony to the author’s storytelling powers.
Malaysian-born RANI MOORTHY came to Britain in 1996 after many years as an actress, writer and director in South East Asia. The unique alchemy of being a migrant and an outsider at every stage in her life deeply informs her writing and performance. She is artistic director of Rasa, founded in 1988 to celebrate the enduring migrant experience through powerful, critically acclaimed theatre journeys. She has appeared in Coronoation Street, A&E, Cold Feet, Moving On, Prisoner’s Wives and played Mrs.Bilal in the BBC-1 sitcom Citizen Khan. Her latest play Whose Sari Now, traces how the garment impacts the lives of women across boundaries and generations.Ceylon Dust is her debut collection of short-stories.