Tharu Atharata Giya Daruwa: Childhood of Arthur C Clarke
The book ‘Tharu Atharata Giya Daruwa’ is a biography that traces the childhood years of Sir Arthur C Clarke (1917 - 2008), renowned science fiction author, undersea explorer and the first to propose global satellite communications.
Written in story-telling style in conversational Sinhala, this book is suitable for readers of all ages, and especially for parents, teachers and teenaged children.
Arthur C Clarke’s literary and scientific accomplishments are well known (official website is at: https://arthurcclarke.org). By sharing authentic information about his childhood and youth, this book shows what inspired him to become one of the most imaginative scientific minds of the twentieth century.
Born to an ordinary family in rural England in 1917, young Arthur Clarke spent his childhood and youth in the village Minehead, Somerset, close to the sea. His early experiences were shaped by growing up on the family farm, exploring the local beach, and working part-time at the village post office.
Arthur was the eldest in a family of four, raised by their mother who was widowed at a young age. She managed the farm and offered lodging for paying guests at the farm house, involving her children in these efforts. Despite having to cycling 20 kilometres to school and back and helping on the farm, Arthur excelled in studies. He also managed his time to engage in his hobbies of star gazing, mechanical experiments and nature observations.
The book is written by science writer Nalaka Gunawardene who worked with Clarke for 21 years as research associate at his personal office in Colombo. It is illustrated with 74 photographs including many taken from family albums preserved by the Arthur C Clarke Trust that manages his archives. The book contains some original caricatures drawn by cartoonist Dharshana Karunathilake who designed the book.
Chapters are devoted to facets of young Arthur Clarke, covering pursuits like avid reading, fiction writing, rocket building, movie watching and his elaborate yet harmless pranks. Through the book, readers discover less known aspects of the man – such as his fondness for animals, deep interest in dinosaurs and early involvement in comics.