Wave

Paperback, 227 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $15 | purchase

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NPR Summary

Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, parents and two young sons in the terrifying Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. They had been vacationing on the southern coast of her home country, Sri Lanka, when the wave struck. Wave is her brutal but lyrically written account of the awful moment and the grief-crazed months after, as she learned to live with her almost unbearable losses — and allow herself to remember details of her previous life.

Awards and Recognition

7 weeks on NPR Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List

NPR stories about Wave

Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Moments Of Truth: 6 Memoirs Written With Heart

Most of the time, the beach is a place of peace, but every now and then, it can be the site of a living nightmare. In 2004, a devastating tsunami hit the coast of Sri Lanka, where economics professor Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, parents and two young sons. She was the only member of her family to survive the wave. Deraniyagala's sparse, exacting prose, trained with a gimlet eye on the process of grief, contains echoes of Joan Didion's

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