About Ru

Ru Freeman was born into a family of writers and many boys in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After a year of informal study at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, she arrived in the United States with a Parker ink pen and a box of Staedler pencils to attend Bates College in Maine. She completed her Masters in Labor Relations at the University of Colombo, and worked in the field of American and international humanitarian assistance and workers’ rights. Her political writing has appeared in English and in translation. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in VQR, Guernica, World Literature Today and elsewhere. She is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Yaddo. and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is the author of the novel A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009), which was long-listed for the DCS Prize for South Asian Literature, and translated into several languages. Her new novel, On Sal Mal Lane, is published by Graywolf Press in 2013. She calls both Sri Lanka and America home and writes about the people and countries underneath her skin.

Favourite Books


  • Barbara Kingsolver, Poisonwood Bible
  • Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies
  • Lynn Freed, Home Ground
  • Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance
  • Ursula Hegi, Stones From the River
  • T. Corraghessan Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain
  • Toni Morrison, Sula, Tar Baby
  • Vikram Seth, The Golden Gate
  • Wendell Barry, The Memory of Old Jack


  • Ted Conover, New Jack
  • Michael Collier, Make Us Wave Back
  • Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird
  • Michael Ondaatje, Running In the Family


  • Catherine Barnett, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes are Pierced
  • Mahmoud Dharwish, Unfortunately It Was Paradise
  • Yehuda Amichai, Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

My family:

  • Gamini Seneviratne, Twenty Five Poems: une vie brève mais intense
  • Malinda Seneviratne, Epistles
Ru Freeman
Freeman elucidates not only the complexities of friendship, but the sanctity of motherhood and the pervasiveness of loss, how political corruption and the violence it breeds affects women uniquely. A heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting novel that celebrates our ability to transcend tragedy.— Rishi Reddi, author of Karma and Other Stories and winner of the 2008 PEN/L.L. Winship Award