A Passage North Podcast – Ben and Frankie

On the surface, A Passage North, by Anuk Arudpragasam, appears to be a book that follows a grieving boy named Krishan during his journey following the Sri Lankan civil war. Krishan starts the trip in his home of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and ends in Rani’s village, where her funeral takes place. Throughout the philosophical passages of this engaging bildungsroman narrative, Arudpragasam weaves many overarching themes throughout the book combined with his stellar writing style of extended sentences that differentiate A Passage North from the other shortlisted novels on the 2021 Booker Prize process. including Krishan’s lack of a mother figure, amazing moments of figurative language, as well as the book functioning as a bildungsroman for a postmodern character in their twenties, rather than the typical teen coming of age novel. Our #LitCircle could not put the book down!

A Passage North is a fascinating insight into the perspective of a young adult after the Sri Lankan Civil War, and his story and the plot lines of the other characters remind us of the horrors of war and the grieving, pain, and destruction associated with battles. Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel sends a persuasive message to the reader, as he utilizes the perspectives of Krishan, among others, to create an anti-war sentiment that sticks with the reader long after they close the book.  

In this episode, Ben and Frankie take a deep dive into these three themes listed above and how they are woven seamlessly into the story to enhance our understanding of the plot and how they affect the book’s characters in many ways.

Anuk Arudpragasam

This entry was posted in 2021 Booker Prize Short List, English IV Honors, Literature Circles aka #litcircles, Project-Based Learning, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Passage North Podcast – Ben and Frankie

  1. hannahhcote says:

    I really enjoyed your conversation and take on motherhood in this novel. It’s interesting to hear about his understanding on who a mother is, no matter if they are blood related or not. The people that you surround yourself with, especially family, create your character, and I believe that his grandmother and her caregiver had a big impact on the way he views life and family (at least, what I can gain from this podcast). Overall, your points are incredibly engaging and I would definitely explore this book!

  2. Jae Park says:

    Great podcast! I think the start of the podcast with the music was a great introduction into the podcast, along with the continuation of that song at the end as well. I also really like how you talked about three specific themes you found important to you. Along with the great themes I really liked how you were able to throw the topic around between each other so fluidly, while also transitioning well into the next segment of your podcast.

  3. 22hes says:

    I liked that you guys were able to make your podcast feel more like a natural conversation on the book rather than it coming across as really scripted. Like when you had the discussion about mother figures, that they don’t necessarily have to be your biological parent, it was great to hear your opinions.

  4. nestrada7 says:

    This was really well done! Your conversation throughout the episode was thorough and insightful. My favorite part of the discussion was the topic/theme of the civil war. You both discussed how the event physically became or was seen through the character and his actions which I thought was really cool.

  5. jina says:

    I really liked how you got right into themes of the novel after giving a brief overview. It was interesting how Frankie made connection to the extended metaphor for trauma and grief influenced by the war and Ben explaining how absence of biological parents affect Krishan mentally and physically. Also, how you added onto each other’s points makes the podcast so engaging.

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