Famous Novelists from Sri Lanka

List of notable or famous novelists from Sri Lanka, with bios and photos, including the top novelists born in Sri Lanka and even some popular novelists who immigrated to Sri Lanka. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Sri Lankan novelists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These novelists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known novelist from Sri Lanka is included when available.

List features Arthur C. Clarke, Shyam Selvadurai and more.

This historic novelists from Sri Lanka list can help answer the questions "Who are some Sri Lankan novelists of note?" and "Who are the most famous novelists from Sri Lanka?" These prominent novelists of Sri Lanka may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Sri Lankan novelists.

Use this list of renowned Sri Lankan novelists to discover some new novelists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}

  • Arthur C. Clarke
    Photo: ANDREW HOLBROOKE/Contributor / Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images
    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of the most influential films of all time. Clarke was a science writer who was an avid populariser of space travel and a futurist of uncanny ability. He wrote over a dozen books and many essays for popular magazines. In 1961 he received the Kalinga Prize, a UNESCO award for popularising science. Clarke's science and science fiction writings earned him the moniker "Prophet of the Space Age". His science fiction earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership made him one of the towering figures of science fiction. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel. In 1934, while still a teenager, he joined the British Interplanetary Society. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system using geostationary orbits. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946–1947 and again in 1951–1953.Clarke emigrated from England to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in 1956, to pursue his interest in scuba diving. That year he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. Clarke augmented his popularity in the 1980s, as the host of television shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death.Clarke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1989 "for services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka". He was knighted in 1998 and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.
    • Age: Dec. at 90 (1917-2008)
    • Birthplace: Minehead, United Kingdom
  • Ediriweera Sarachchandra
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Ediriweera Sarachchandra (Sinhala: මහාචාර්ය එදිරිවීර සරච්චන්ද්‍ර) (3 June 1914 – 16 August 1996) was a Sri Lankan playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator. Considered Sri Lanka's premier playwright, he was a senior lecturer at the University of Peradeniya for many years and served as Sri Lankan Ambassador to France (1974–1977).
    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1914-1996)
    • Birthplace: Galle, Sri Lanka
  • Gunathilake Bandara Senanayake (14 July 1913 – 16 March 1985) (known as G.B Senanayake) was a prominent Sinhala writer who portrayed Sinhala middle-class life in his novels. He is credited with introducing free verse poetry to Sinhala. He became blind later in his life and still managed to write 16 books with help from his sister.The second stage of Sinhala short stories begins with G.B. Senanayake's short stories. Though mainly focused on short stories Senanayake also wrote Novels and Poetry as well. He introduced 'Nisandas' during a time when Sinhala poetry was in need of a different style. G.B. Senanayake was a writer who was very concerned about being grammatically correct in writing.
    • Age: Dec. at 71 (1913-1985)
    • Birthplace: Sri Lanka
  • Martin Wickramasinghe
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Lama Hewage Don Martin Wickramasinghe commonly Martin Wickramasinghe, MBE (Sinhala: මාර්ටින් වික්‍රමසිංහ) (29 May 1890 – 23 July 1976) was a Sri Lankan novelist. His books have been translated into several languages.The search for roots is a central theme in Wickramasinghe's writings on the culture and life of the people of Sri Lanka. His work explored and applied modern knowledge in natural and social sciences, literature, linguistics, the arts, philosophy, education, Buddhism and comparative religion. Wickramasinghe is often acclaimed as the father of modern Sinhala literature.
    • Age: Dec. at 86 (1890-1976)
    • Birthplace: Sri Lanka
  • Rajiva Wijesinha
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Rajiva Wijesinha, MA, DPhil (Sinhala: රජීව විජේසිංහ) (born 16 May 1954) is a Sri Lankan writer in English, distinguished for his political analysis as well as creative and critical work. An academic by profession for much of his working career, he was most recently Senior Professor of Languages at the University of Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka. In June 2007 President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed him Secretary-General of the Sri Lankan Government Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process and in June 2008 he also became concurrently the Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights. The Peace Secretariat wound up in July 2009), and in February 2010 he resigned from the Ministry as well as the University, and became a member of parliament on the National List of the United People's Freedom Alliance following the General Election held in April 2010, following which he was appointed a member of parliament.He belongs to the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, and has served as its President and leader, and also as a Vice-President of Liberal International. He is currently Chair of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats and was re-elected leader of the Liberal Party Sri Lanka on the proposal of the previous leader following the Liberal Party Annual Congress of 2011. He has travelled widely, including as a Visiting Professor on the Semester at Sea Programme of the University of Pittsburgh, and has published Beyond the First Circle: Travels in the Second and Third Worlds.
    • Age: 69
    • Birthplace: Sri Lanka
  • Shyam Selvadurai (born 12 February 1965) is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives in Toronto with his partner Andrew Champion.Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father—members of conflicting ethnic groups whose troubles form a major theme in his work. Ethnic riots in 1983 drove the family to emigrate to Canada when Selvadurai was nineteen. He studied creative and professional writing as part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts program at York University.Selvadurai recounted an account of the discomfort he and his partner experienced during a period spent in Sri Lanka in 1997 in his essay "Coming Out" in Time Asia's special issue on the Asian diaspora in 2003. In 2004, Selvadurai edited a collection of short stories: Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers, which includes works by Salman Rushdie, Monica Ali, and Hanif Kureishi, among others. He published a young adult novel, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, in 2005. Swimming won the Lambda Literary Award in the Children's and Youth Literature category in 2006. He was a contributor to TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 1.In 2013, he released a fourth novel, The Hungry Ghosts. In 2013 Selvadurai's Funny Boy was included in the syllabus under marginalized study and gay literature of the under graduate English Department of The American College in Madurai.In 2014, he was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for his contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.In 2016, a species of spider was named after Selvadurai called Brignolia Shyami, a small goblin spider which is a pale yellow colour and between 1.4mm and 1.5mm in length.
    • Age: 58
    • Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka