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Ohio State University Press

Dark Tourist: Essays

Dark Tourist: Essays

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"Shimmers with honesty, vulnerability, and circumspection." -Kirkus

"Sirisena explores how stories can become a 'talisman against the overwhelming darkness of another's pain' in her emotionally charged nonfiction debut ... [Her] searching spirit leaves readers with plenty to dig into." -Publishers Weekly

Dark tourism-visiting sites of war, violence, and other traumas experienced by others-takes different forms in Hasanthika Sirisena's stunning excavation of the unexpected places (and ways) in which personal identity and the riptides of history meet. The 1961 plane crash that left a nuclear warhead buried near her North Carolina hometown, juxtaposed with reflections on her father's stroke. A visit to Jaffna in Sri Lanka-the country of her birth, yet where she is unmistakably a foreigner-to view sites from the recent civil war, already layered over with the narratives of the victors. A fraught memory of her time as a young art student in Chicago that is uneasily foundational to her bisexual, queer identity today. The ways that life-changing impairments following a severe eye injury have shaped her thinking about disability and self-worth.

Deftly blending reportage, cultural criticism, and memoir, Sirisena pieces together facets of her own sometimes-fractured self to find wider resonances with the human universals of love, sex, family, and art-and with language's ability to both fail and save us. Dark Tourist becomes then about finding a home, if not in the world, at least within the limitless expanse of the page.

Author: Hasanthika Sirisena
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Published: 12/10/2021
Pages: 184
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.50lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.50w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9780814258125

About the Author
Hasanthika Sirisena is a writer and cartoonist and a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of the short story collection The Other One.

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