Goonetilleke, D.C.R.A. 1938–

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Goonetilleke, D.C.R.A. 1938–

(Alwis Chitra Ranjan Goonetilleke, Devapriya Chitra Ranjan Alwis Gooonetilleke)

PERSONAL: Born October 9, 1938, in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); son of Richard Arthur Alwis (a clerk) and Tilothamawa (a homemaker) Goonetilleke; married Chitranganie Lalitha (a homemaker), November 23, 1967; children: Surendra, Dilhan (sons). Ethnicity: "Sinhalese." Education: University of Ceylon, B.A. (with honors), 1961; University of Lancaster, Ph.D., 1970. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Buddhist.

ADDRESSES: Home—Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. Office—c/o Department of English, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, temporary assistant lecturer in English, 1961–62; Vidyodaya University, Nugegoda, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), assistant lecturer in English, 1962–66; University of Sri Lanka, Vidyalankara Campus (now University of Kelaniya), lecturer in English, 1970–73; University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, lecturer, 1973–74, senior lecturer, 1974–79, associate professor, 1979–80, professor, 1980–90, senior professor of English, 1990–2004, professor emeritus, 2005–, head of department, 1978–87, 1989–95, 2002–04. Cambridge University, fellow commoner of Churchill College and visiting scholar, 1977–78, foundation visiting fellow of Clare Hall, 1987–88; Open University of Sri Lanka, member of board of study for humanities and social sciences, 1983–86; University of London, Henry Charles Chapman visiting fellow at Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 1988–89; American Studies Research Center, Hyderabad, India, regional scholar, 1992; Graz Center for the International Study of Literature in English, member of advisory board, 1993–95; University of Tübingen, guest professor, 1999–2001. Sri Lankan Committee of Heads of University English Departments, chair, 1980–85; Arts Council of Sri Lanka, chair of western literary panel, between 1991 and 1999, member of national literary panel, 2001–05; Sri Lanka Ministry of Cultural Affairs, advisor for Sinhala-English dictionary, 1993; past judge of Commonwealth Poetry Prize and Commonwealth Writers Prize.

MEMBER: International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures (vice president, 1993–99), Asian Association for the Study of Australia (vice president, 1995–99), Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (chair of Sri Lanka branch, 1981–92; world chair, 1993–97), English Association of Sri Lanka (president, 1981), American Studies Association of Sri Lanka (vice president, 1990–91; president, 2004–05), New York Academy of Sciences.

AWARDS, HONORS: Commonwealth scholar in England, 1966–70; State Award for English Writing, prose category, Arts Council of Sri Lanka, 1992, for Images of the Raj: South Asia in the Literature of the Empire, and 1993, for Joseph Conrad: Beyond Culture and Background.


Introducing English Literature, Lake House Investments (Colombo, Sri Lanka), Volume 1: First Steps to Literary Criticism, 1975, Volume 2: A Study of Fiction, 1976, Volume 3: A Study of Poetry, 1977.

Developing Countries in British Fiction, Rowman & Littlefield (Totowa, NJ), 1977.

Between Cultures: Essays on Literature, Language, and Education, Sri Satguru Publications (Delhi, India), 1987.

Images of the Raj: South Asia in the Literature of the Empire, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Mona Gooneratne and Mirella Jayawardena) Learning English: Book I, Lake House Investments (Colombo, Sri Lanka), 1988.

Joseph Conrad: Beyond Culture and Background, Macmillan (Basingstoke, England), 1990, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.

(National editor for Sri Lanka) Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English, Routledge (London, England), 1994.

(Editor and author of supplement) Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Broadview Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Salman Rushdie, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Sri Lankan English Literature and the Sri Lankan People, 1917–2003, Vijitha Yapa Publications (Colombo, Sri Lanka), 2005.

Contributor to many books, including Crisis and Creativity in the New Literatures in English, edited by Geoffrey Davis and Hena Maes-Jelinek, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 1989; Literature and Imperialism, edited by Robert Giddings, Macmillan (London, England), 1990; Joseph Conrad: Third World Perspectives, edited by Robert D. Hamner, Three Continents (Washington, DC), 1990; Commonwealth and American Women's Discourse: Essays in Criticism, edited by A.L. McLeod, Sterling (New Delhi, India), 1996; and A Talent(ed) Digger: Creations, Cameos, and Essays in Honour of Anna Rutherford, edited by Hena Meas-Jelinek, Gordon Collier, and Geoffrey V. Davis, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 1996. Contributor of more than fifty articles and reviews to literature journals, including World Literature Today, World Literature Written in English, Indian Journal of American Studies, Kipling Journal, and Kalyani: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Regional representative for Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 1978–94; associate editor for Sri Lanka, Journal of South Asian Literature, 1980–; editor of Navasilu: Journal of the English Association of Sri Lanka and the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, 1983–84, 1987; founder and editor, Phoenix: Sri Lanka Journal of English in the Commonwealth, 1990.


Modern Sri Lankan Stories: An Anthology, Sri Satguru Publications (Delhi, India), 1986.

Modern Sri Lankan Poetry: An Anthology, Sri Satguru Publications (Delhi, India), 1987.

Modern Sri Lankan Drama: An Anthology, Sri Satguru Publications (Delhi, India), 1991.

The Penguin New Writing in Sri Lanka, Penguin Books India (New Delhi, India), 1992.

The Penguin Book of Modern Sri Lankan Stories, Penguin Books India (New Delhi, India), 1996.

Sri Lankan Literature in English, 1948–1998: A Fiftieth Independence Anniversary Anthology, Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka (Colombo, Sri Lanka), 1998.

Perspectives on Post-Colonial Literature, Skoob Books (London, England), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: D. C.R.A. Goonetilleke is considered one of Sri Lanka's foremost scholars writing in English. His fields of concentration have been the British colonial novel, twentieth-century British literature, and Joseph Conrad. Goonetilleke is an expert on Salman Rushdie and an internationally recognized authority on Sri Lankan literature.

Goonetilleke once told CA: "I am keen on promoting international understanding via the study of literature. Therefore I often write on literature of importance both to the developing and developed world—literature by writers such as Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Joyce Cary, George Orwell, and Paul Scott. My book on Joseph Conrad falls within my main field of activity, but I undertook it partly because it gave me the opportunity to extend my range—to study a single major writer in depth and examine works set in England and Europe. This book and my earlier work on Conrad gave me the status of an authority on this novelist, and I was invited to edit Heart of Darkness and also, later, to write a guide to Heart of Darkness. Given my research into colonial literature, it was a logical extension of my interests to enter the field of post-colonial studies, which I find the most exciting of the new fields of literary study."



Choice, October, 1977, review of Developing Countries in British Fiction, p. 1048; July, 1988, review of Images of the Raj: South Asia in the Literature of the Empire, p. 1693.

Times Literary Supplement, September 9, 1988, John Sutherland, review of Images of the Raj, p. 996.