Winners of Gratiaen Prize 1995

1995 Winners

The Child in Me
Sybil Wettasinghe
Rajiva Wijesingha

Bio data of Authors

Child in Me
Sybil Wettasinghe

Sybil Wettasinghe is an author of children’s book and also an illustrator. Her works have entertained children for over five decades locally and internationally. Some of her work has been translated into other languages. She has won many awards for art and literature.

Rajiva Wijesinha

Rajiva Wijesinha, MA, DPhil (Oxon) is a Sri Lankan writer in English, distinguished for his political analysis as well as creative and critical work

Excerpts from the books

Child in Me / Sybil Wettasinghe

I had a great fear of going near our well which was about ten feet away from our dining room door that opened out into the backyard.

At bath time I was always missing. A great search had to be made before I was dragged out of my hiding place. And then amid squeals and screams and a terrible battle for survival, my mother bathed me. Carline kept holding me, while her salty tears I imagined dropped down on my head. She wept when I was roughly handled. She had no children of her own so she loved me dearly.

All this great fuss was because of the monster I was told was hiding in our well. I wouldn’t normally dare go close to the well.


We had two ayahs. One had come when my brother was born and then looked after my sister as well. Since I followed soon after and Lisa still had her hands full, Sella joined the household shortly before I did. She was supposed therefore to be entirely devoted to me. And so she was. Astrologically it seemed I was the sort of person she was born to serve. Being born on a Wesak full moon day and a Sunday too, also probably helped my case