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The Journey of Aruni McShane

As Sri Lanka marks the 75th anniversary of independence from Britain, one of its gifted artists shares her own journey towards creative independence and personal renewal.

Aruni McShane is a poet and essayist who has become a creative leader in her adopted home. The People’s Library is proud to be the publisher helping her share her story. "Purity and Hope", Aruni's first book, was published in June 2023.

Aruni’s words are complemented by images of beauty and hope, including a collection by Swansea photographer Emma Shears, who captures the coast and countryside that has inspired so many artists and now inspires Aruni. The cover image features a Sri Lankan lotus flower. This bloom is regarded as a symbol of purity and hope. Aruni’s poems and essays offer a flavour of the hopes of a parent for their children, the hopes of a traveller for a new beginning and the hopes of an artist for their message and its impact.

On June 24th at a launch event at Brynhyfryd Library, Aruni read excerpts from the book, signed copies for a captivated audience and answered questions on her creative process. Along with family and friends, Aruni’s audience included tutors and fellow students from the Swansea University Creative Writing MA that’s helped her find her voice.

Most of us will never face the challenge of starting from scratch in a new country or a new language. Aruni has met both challenges with grace and quiet courage. In finding her own voice and asserting her own identity, she has charted a course that many others will follow.

She’s always been a role model for her daughters. With every word she writes, Aruni confirms her status as a role model for women and writers everywhere.

Revenue raised by sales of “Purity and Hope” will be put towards a scholarship for young women in Swansea seeking to further their education. It will, appropriately, bear the name of Aruni McShane. This gifted artist is intent on helping others find their voice, and this publication is only the beginning.

To buy a copy of “Purity and Hope”, contact Amazon here or email the People’s Library at and we’ll deliver to your door within 24 hours.


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