By Brendan Rees
Two Casey sisters are excited to discuss their first published book about a great Sri Lankan king when they visit Bunjil Place Library this month.
Amenda, 20, and Emerald, 19 – both of Sri Lankan heritage – took two-and-half years to write their book, ‘The Uprising’, which follows the epic tale of King Gemunu, the ruler of Sri Lanka from 161–137 BC who led with “so much intensity and passion”.
“The novel also talks about the battle which took place, which King Gemunu had instigated in order to unify Sri Lanka, which was probably the most fun part for us to write,” Amenda says.
They say they were inspired by the stories their parents used to share with them as children.
“My sister and I would often discuss about the different exotic and exciting stories our parents taught us about Sri Lanka and the various kings that ruled the country,” Amenda says.
The pair of Hampton Park say they had felt so lucky to have been brought up in Australia, and a chance to “live our lives to the fullest,” that they wanted to help those less fortunate.
They hope through the sales of the book they can raise enough money to help children in remote villages in Sri Lanka to assist with their education – “so that they too can have an opportunity to explore their dreams and pursue them”.
“The book we have written is completely self-published and all costs involving it have been funded by us,” they say.
There was no target audience in mind as they “wanted everyone to be able to just pick up the book and read it”.
“We live in a very multicultural society, so being aware and gaining knowledge about a certain community cultural roots truly helps communities to be more understanding and loving of one another and that’s also something we really hope to achieve through this book”.
Amenda, a former Dandenong High School student is studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts at Deakin University, while Emerald, a former Canterbury Girls Secondary College student is currently studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences at Monash University.
Their talented father, Kuma Perera, drew the illustrations for their book which contains 155 pages.
“He truly assisted us in making sure that the words were brought to life through his drawings,” Amenda says.
They will officially launch their new book at Bunjil Place Library on Friday 15 November from 5.30pm- 7.30pm. Free entry.