Ameena Hussein


Ameena Hussein is a sociologist, writer, and editor. She is the author of the novel The Moon in the Water, which was longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Prize and the Dublin IMPAC; as well as the short story collections Fifteen and Zillij, winner of the State Literary Prize. Hussein was also an editor of Sometimes There is No Blood, a survey of research on violence against women in rural areas by the International Centre of Ethnic Studies in Colombo. In addition to editing several collections of stories for children and adults, Hussein is cofounder of the Perera Hussein Publishing House, known for publishing cutting-edge Sri Lankan fiction. She lives in Sri Lanka. 

Twisting and turning on the bed trying to make myself comfortable, being soothed by loving hands, soft voices trying to console me, I would leave them yet again. I willed my mind to focus—the house, the house—I would force myself to climb the stairs of the house. They were steep wooden steps with no balustrades and a sheer drop to the ground on both sides. The landing on top gave a view of the back of the property, acres and acres of jungle land, one land giving onto the next onto the next to create a sea of treetops. I would enter the vast bedroom, each floor plank creaking with my steps, and open the white French doors that lead onto an even larger wooden deck. A lone deck chair is placed in the middle. I settle myself in and look out onto the magnificence of the view—water, greenery, horizon, sky, sun, moon, stars. Everywhere I looked there was beauty, there was love, there was healing, there was spirit.


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard