Friday 21 September 2018

This father returned to the bookshop where he learned English to buy a copy of his son’s novel

A beautiful moment.

(Guy Gunaratne)
(Guy Gunaratne)

By Nicola Irwin and Taylor Heyman, Press Association

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.

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.

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.”

Press Association

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