Martin Wickramasinghe

Wickramasinghe was born on 29 May 1891, in the town of Galle of Koggal, and Magalle Balapitiya Liyanage Thochchohamy. Koggala was bounded on one side by a reef, and on the other by Koggala Lagoon, a large coastal lake into which the numerous tributaries of the Koggala Oya drained. The landscapes of the sea, Koggala Lagoon studded with little islands, the flora and fauna, the forested hinterland, and the changing patterns of life and culture of the people of the village would later influence his work.

At the age of five Wickramasinghe was taught the Sinhala alphabet, at home and in the village temple, by a monk, Andiris Gurunnanse. He also learned the Devanagari script and could recite by memory long sections of the Hitopadesa. After two years he was taken to a vernacular school where he prospered until 1897 when he was sent to an English school in Galle called Buona Vista . In the two years spent at the school Wickramasinghe became fluent in English as well as Latin. When his father died, he returned to a vernacular school in Ahangama and subsequently lost interest in schooling

Honors and awards

Appointed Member of the Radio Broadcasting Commission – 1953
Appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in person – 1954
Award for the best news paper article for the year "The fall of the Brahmin Class" – 1956
The novel "Viragaya" wins the Don Pedric Award for the best novel of the year – 1957
Awarded a Honorary PhD by the Vidyodaya University – 1960
Awarded a DLitt by the University of Ceylon – 1963
UNESCO Award for his book "The Rise of the Soviet Land" – 1964
Awarded a DLitt by Vidyalankara University −1964
Awarded a DLitt by the University of Ceylon, Colombo – 1970
Receives the first Presidential Award for Literature – 1974



Leela (1914)
Soma (1920)
Irangani (1923)
Seetha (1923)
Miringu Diya (Mirage) (1925)
Unmada Chitra (1929)
Rohini (1929)
Gamperaliya (The Uprooted/Changing Village) (1944)
Madol Doova (Mangrove Island) (1947)
Yuganthaya (End of the Era) (1949)
Viragaya (Devoid of Passions) (1956)
Kaliyugaya (Age of Destruction) (1957)
Karuvala Gedara (House of Shadows) (1963)
Bhavatharanaya (Siddhartha's Quest) (1973)

Collections of short stories

Geheniyak (A Woman) (1924)
Magul Gedara (The Wedding) (1927)
Pavkarayata Galgesima (Stoning the Sinner) (1936)
Apuru Muhuna (The Strange Face) (1944)
Handa Sakki Kima (The Moon is Witness) (1945)
Mara Yuddhaya (Mara's War) (1945)
Mage Kathawa (My Story) (1947)
Vahallu (Bondage) (1951)


Chithra (1940)
Mayuri (1944)
Vijitha (1952)

Evolution and Anthropology

Sathwa Sanhathiya (Biological Evolution) (1934)
Bhavakarma Vikashaya (An Unorthodox Interpretation of Buddhist Philosophy) (1967)
Manava Vidyava Ha Bauddha Vignana Vadaya (Anthropology and Buddhist Idealism) (1974)


Sinhala Lakuna (The Sinhalese Identity) (1947)
Budu Samaya Ha Samaja Darshanaya (Buddhism and Social Philosophy) (1948)
Denuma Ha Dekuma (Knowledge and Reality) (1958)
Sinhala Sakaskada (Sociological Writings) (1962)
Bauddha Darshanaya Ha Margaya (Buddhist Philosophy and the Way) (1968)
Nivan Muhunuvara Ha Bamunu Dittiya (Face of Nirvana and Brahmin Dogma) (1972)


Ape Gama (Our Village) (1940)
Upanda Sita (From My Childhood) (1961)

Literary criticism

Shastriya Lekshana (Educational Essays) (1919)
Sinhala Sahitya Katha (Sinhala Literary Essays) (1932)
Sahitya Shiksha 1 (Essays on Literatura) (1936)
Sahitya Shiksha 2 (1938)
Vichara Lipi (Literary Criticism) (1941)
Guttila Gitaya 1 (Critical Review) (1943)
Sinhala Sahityaye Negima (Landmarks of Sinhala Literature) (1945)
Sahitya Kalava (Art of Literature) (1950)
Kavya Vicharaya (Sinhala Poetry:A critical Review) (1954)
Atta Yutta (Essays in Literature) (1955)
Bana Katha Sahitya (Buddhist Folk Literature) (1955)
Nava Padya Sinhalaya (Modern Sinhala Poetry) (1957)
Rasavadaya Ha Bauddha Kavyaya (Aesthetics and Buddhist Poetry) (1961)
Sinhala Vichara Maga (Sinhala Literary Criticism) (1964)
Navakathanga Ha Viragaya (Literary Aspects of Buddhist Jataka Stories) (1968)
Sinhala Navakathawa Ha Japan Kama Katha Sevanella (The Sinhala Novel in the Shadow of the Japanese Erotic Novel) (1969)
Sinhala Natakaya Ha Sanda Kinduruwa (Sanda Kinduru and Sinhala Drama) (1970)
Sampradaya Ha Vicharaya (Tradition and Criticism) (1971)
Vyavahara Bhashava Ha Parinama Dharmaya (Contemporary Sinhala and Its Evolotion)


Chechov Ha Lankava (Chechov and Sri Lanka) (1970)
Ape Urumaya Ha Bhikshun Vahanse (The contribution of Buddhist Monks to our Cultural Heritage)
Ape Viyath Parapura Ha Bhasha Samaja Parinamaya (The role of Our Leaders in the Evolution of Our Language and Society)

Books in English

Aspects of Sinhalese Culture (1952)
The Buddhist Jataka Stories and the Russian Novel (1952)
The Mysticism of D H Lawrence (1957)
Buddhism and Culture (1964)
Revolution and Evolution (1971)
Buddhism and Art (1973)
Sinhala Language and Culture (1975)


Purana Sinhala Stringe Enduma (Women's Attire in Ancient Lanka) (1935)
Kalunika Sevima (Search for Our Past) (1950)


Soviet Deshaye Negima (The Rise of the Soviet Union) (1962)

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