Romesh Gunesekera was born in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He grew up in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, moving to England in 1971. He gained an Arts Council Writers' Award in 1991. His first book, Monkfish Moon, a collection of short stories reflecting the ethnic and political tensions that have threatened Sri Lanka since independence in 1948, was published in 1992.
Reef (1994), his first novel, won a Yorkshire Post Book Award (Best First Work) and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Guardian Fiction Prize. The book is narrated by a young Sri Lankan boy named Triton who is sent to work for a marine biologist, Mister Salgado. Forced to leave Sri Lanka by the worsening political situation, they move to London where Triton opens a restaurant. The Sandglass (1998), his second novel, centres on the character of Prins Ducal, a Sri Lankan businessman, and his search for the truth about his father's death. It was awarded the inaugural BBC Asia Award for Achievement in Writing and Literature. His novel, Heaven's Edge (2002), is set on an island in the near future.
Romesh Gunesekera lives in London, but travels widely for festivals, workshops and British Council tours. In recent years he has held writing residencies in in Hong Kong, Singapore and Denmark, and in 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His latest book is The Match (2006).