Posted by Literary Titan
A Literary Smorgasbord is a collection of your literary works which reflect on many aspects of your life. What was the inspiration that made you want to publish your work?
The ‘inspiration’ for this book was merely a telephone call ‘out of the blue’ by a chap from Xlibris. He offered to publish any manuscript of mine at a relatively small cost. Although I did not have a completed MS like a novel, I knew I had enough short stories and poems, which I had entered into various competitions, but without much success, that would make up enough pages for a book. I also had autobiographical sketches which could be included as memoir.
I was pleasantly surprised when I sent these to get a very positive response. My work was very readable, and needed no editing. I then had to decide on the cover page, and my wife helped with a photograph of the front of our house. That was acceptable too.
However, the minus side of all this was the increasing cost at various stages of the publishing process. I was not consulted about the pricing of the book either. In the end, I had parted with a small fortune, but the end product was very professional. I hope now, with good reviews like the one from you, the book would become a ‘best seller’. In e-book form as well.
I enjoyed the poetry in this book. When do you write most of your poems?
I did not attempt writing poems seriously until after my move to southern Spain on retirement. Sitting on the terrace of my sun-drenched abode, I read quite a few books including poetry. If I remember right, all the poems in this book and others self-published as ‘One Year in Spain’ (2011) and ‘Solace in Verse’ (2013) were written between 2007 and 2014. Most of these poems were published in the local freebie weekly newspaper then under the title, ‘The Coast Rider’. Now ‘Costa Blanca People’.
Your short stories were entertaining and interesting. What was your favorite story from the collection?
‘The Reunion’ is my favorite story. It is based mostly on fact. The protagonist, ‘Colvin’ died of Covid – 19 in Luton last month aged just 76, eight years my junior. Couldn’t attend the funeral, but watched online.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I hope to write a dystopian futuristic novel on the lines of George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
There was no question that this author looked up to the United Kingdom as his mother country, where he emigrated to, at the age of 26. Although Ceylon, his actual birthplace gained independence from the British Empire when he was just 12 years old (1948).
At secondary school he regularly won the class prize for English and contributed stories and essays not only to the college magazine, but also to the children’s pages of local daily newspapers.
Under the title ‘Rudderless Living’ the author paints a succinct autobiographical picture of the main events of his nomadic life. ‘Overland’ describes not only a trio’s trip by car to Mumbai, India, starting from Cambridge, UK, but also refers to important background events in the author’s life. Over the years he had been writing short stories merely as a hobby, and the reader can expect a wide variety of real life events, as well as futuristic fables, in this collection. His poems were mostly written after he retired to Spain, and reflects his daily life there. A few of his poems won recognition as ‘Honorable Mentions’ at various competitions.
‘A Literary Smorgasbord’ is the product of his literary heritage exhibiting an undoubted mastery of the English language. Although he did not succeed in attending the then one and only University of Ceylon, he later gained academic qualifications from the University of London, and worked as an occupational psychologist until retirement age.
As assessed by British Mensa he has an IQ falling within the top 3% of the population. There is no question that this is reflected in the essays, stories and poems so uniquely presented in this volume, ‘A Literary Smorgasbord’. A worthy read.
Posted by Literary Titan
A Literary Smorgasbord: Memoir, Fiction, and Poetry, by Migel Jayasinghe, is a unique collection of largely autobiographical shorts juxtaposed with fictional short stories, poetry, and a drama. Jayasinghe, well-traveled and a virtual genius in his own right, provides readers with a smattering of brief excerpts from his own life while also offering a nice selection of stories of varying genres. To read Jayasinghe’s work is to take a peek inside his mind.
Jayasinghe’s autobiographical excerpts, presented throughout the book in no certain order, allow readers to venture alongside him through trips abroad, on a special visit to see one of his former teachers, to meeting and marrying his wife. We, as readers, are not often afforded the opportunity to truly get to know the author as we pore over his/her work. Jayasinghe is changing all of that for us. Interspersed throughout this short read, we get to visit with him and his family before being dropped quickly back into one of his short stories and glimpsing his imagination at work.
I am not an avid fan of poetry, but there is something different and captivating about Jayasinghe’s poems. Having the generally more serious tone of the fiction short stories, some of the poems included in Jayasinghe’s book do venture a bit away from the somber side. Not one to chuckle aloud when reading, I have to admit that Jayasinghe’s “Halloween Day” gave me cause to laugh out loud. Each poem brings something new to the table and shines a light on a different aspect of the author’s life in Spain.
Readers will easily relate to the play, “Market Forces: A One Act Play.” Timeshares are a thorn in the side for far too many people. Following along as the main characters are subjected to a wordy presentation while they want nothing more than to claim their promised prize, readers will shake their heads knowingly, groan along with them, and cringe at the pressure they experience. The drama is an overall fun read and different from any of the author’s other writing.
I enjoyed guessing where each of the author’s shorts would take me. Jayasinghe, without a doubt, is comfortable with all genres and hands readers a wonderful mixture of texts. Readers will appreciate the personal peek into the author’s life as they absorb the uniqueness of his writing.
Pages: 156 | ASIN: B07QY7L1TJ