Chinaman is a novel by Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka, first published in 2010. The book is a work of fiction that centers around a retired Sri Lankan sports journalist named W.G. Karunasena, who is obsessed with finding the greatest Sri Lankan cricketer of all time.
W.G. Karunasena is a heavy drinker and a bit of a rogue, but he is also a passionate cricket fan who believes that Sri Lanka has produced a player who is worthy of being called the greatest of all time. He sets out on a quest to find this player, traveling across Sri Lanka and interviewing various cricketers, coaches, and fans.
As he goes on his quest, W.G. Karunasena becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea of finding the greatest Sri Lankan cricketer. He discovers the story of a mysterious bowler known as "Chinaman," who was an unknown player in his time but who W.G. believes may have been the greatest of all.
The novel is notable for its humor and irreverence, as well as its deep knowledge and love of cricket. Karunatilaka captures the unique spirit of Sri Lankan cricket and the passion that it inspires in its fans. He also explores the ways in which cricket has become entwined with Sri Lankan culture and identity.
The novel also deals with larger themes, such as the nature of obsession and the quest for excellence. W.G. Karunasena's search for the greatest Sri Lankan cricketer is a quest that takes on a larger significance, as he grapples with the idea of what it means to be the best and the lengths that one must go to in order to achieve greatness.
Karunatilaka's writing is sharp and witty, and he captures the colorful characters and settings of Sri Lanka with great skill. He also delves deep into the history and mythology of Sri Lankan cricket, weaving together a complex and engaging narrative.
Chinaman is a highly entertaining and engaging novel that offers a unique window into Sri Lankan culture and society. It is a book that will appeal to cricket fans and non-fans alike, and it is a testament to the power of sport to inspire passion, obsession, and excellence.