Shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize 2020
The fabled Moroccan Scholar Ibn Battuta is reputed to have travelled further through the medieval world than any other explorer, including Marco Polo. When Ameena Hussein sees a grimy street sign in Puttalam bearing his name, it precipitates a quest of her own, tracking Ibn Battuta’s trajectory in Lanka or Sarandib as he knew it.
From the pearl rich north-western coast, through Sri Pada known as the Mount of Lanka, down to Dewinuwara with its magnificent temple hosting dancing girls and Brahmin priests and onwards to Colombo – already a formidable maritime presence, she follows his trajectory to rejoin his starting point at Puttalam. Along the way, she seeks Ibn Battuta’s memory in the minds of men, and discovers a land brimming with myth and legend as colourful as the traveler himself.
"A book for those who love the marvelous, multicultural land of Lanka" – Tim Mackintosh Smith
"A rich tapestry, bringing to life 14th century Sri Lanka" – Shyam Selvadurai
"A beautiful, sweeping book that shines light into the past" – Nayomi Munaweera
"A fabulously entertaining and remarkable feat of research" – Nira Wickremasinghe
Author, Senior commissioning editor and co-founder of the Perera-Hussein Publishing House, Ameena Hussein is a sociologist whose essays and opinion pieces have been published internationally. Her work often reflects, celebrates or critiques little known aspects of the Sri Lankan Muslim community.