Plastic Emotions

Shiromi Pinto


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Influx Press
11 July 2019
ISBN: 9781910312315

From the publisher

Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award 2020

‘One of the gems of the season.’

‘It’s hard not to be swept away by it all.’

‘Plastic Emotions is an act of illumination: in its mission to recover the life of Sri Lankan architect Minnette de Silva, Shiromi Pinto has written a novel that is like a beam of light. It is also lyrical and revelatory, speaking to our times with a beautifully calibrated urgency.’
– Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

Pinto’s writing is wise and evocative, unearthing a story so long shamefully neglected.’
– Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy

‘An elegant, elegiac book; a devastating deconstruction of power, told by a fine writer with an admirably cool eye.’
– Preti Taneja, Desmond Elliot winning author of We That Are Young

“We architects must be idealists. We construct not just individual buildings, but whole cities. We plan cities, and in doing so, change lives.”

Plastic Emotions is inspired by the life of Minnette de Silva – a forgotten feminist icon and one of the most important figures of twentieth century architecture. 

In a gripping and lyrical story, Shiromi Pinto paints a complex picture of de Silva, charting her affair with infamous Swiss modernist Le Corbusier and her efforts to build an independent Sri Lanka that slowly heads towards political and social turmoil.
Moving between London, Chandigarh, Colombo, Paris, and Kandy, Plastic Emotions explores the life of a young, trailblazing South Asian woman at a time of great turbulence across the globe.

‘An audacious writer who rises above the predictable.’
The Independent