This father returned to the bookshop where he learned English to buy a copy of his son’s novel
A beautiful moment.
A man who taught himself English by sneaking into his local bookshop has touched he hearts of Twitter users after a photo showing him holding his son’s novel went viral.
Journalist and documentary-maker Guy Gunaratne shared a photo of his 83-year-old father Sam in Foyles bookshop on Twitter. In the photograph he is holding a copy of Gunaratne’s debut novel In Our Mad And Furious City.
Sam is originally from Colombo in Sri Lanka. In the Twitter post, his son describes how when he first moved to the UK, Sam would sneak into his local Foyles to teach himself English.
Sixty years ago my father was a teenager and a new immigrant in 1950s London. He used to sneak into Foyles every Saturday, sit on the floor and teach himself English. Yesterday, he returned to pick his son’s novel off the shelf. This universe is spectacular. pic.twitter.com/8edKFIbaB6— Guy Gunaratne (@guygunaratne) April 20, 2018
The tweet struck a chord with many writers and ordinary Twitter users, who clamoured to show their support for the pair and share their own stories.
I love this. Bloody marvellous!! Congrats to u for ur book. I'm going to Pick up a copy this afternoon. Inspired by our fathers x— Yasmin (@hannahsspice) April 21, 2018
Now that is something special!— Rebecca Hodson (@motleyalice) April 20, 2018
Congratulations on the novel. I bet your dad is chuffed to bits and overflowing with pride to be able to walk into that store and see his son's book on the shelf. You've given me a lovely happy feeling on a day I was rather bleurgh.
This kind of thing makes me smile. Thanks for sharing. Foyles was a place I used to go to when I was working away from home in the City - a place I could lose myself for an hour or so after a long and stressful day.— Steve B #runwithmetal (@kenda11fella) April 20, 2018
My father used to ring me from bookshops whenever he saw my book on the shelves. 'I'm just moving it to a more prominent position'.— Sally Hinchcliffe (@sallyhinch) April 21, 2018
In Our Mad And Furious City follows two friends over a 48-hour period on a London council estate. It was released on April 19, and Gunaratne’s father was one of the first to see it displayed in a bookshop.
Speaking on the positive reaction to his Twitter post, Gunaratne told the Press Association: “It’s wonderful that it seems to have struck a chord with so many, and perhaps it’ll remind everyone to hug their fathers a little closer.”