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Carl Muller
Born (1935-10-22)22 October 1935
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Died 2 December 2019(2019-12-02) (aged 84)
Occupation Author, journalist
Nationality Sri Lankan
Notable works The Jam Fruit Tree
Children of the Lion
Spouse Sortain Harris

Kala Keerthi Carl Muller (22 October 1935 – 2 December 2019) was an award-winning Sri Lankan writer, poet and journalist best known for his trilogy about Burghers in Sri Lanka: The Jam Fruit Tree, Yakada Yaka and Once Upon A Tender Time. He won Gratiaen Awards for The Jam Fruit Tree in 1993 and a State Literary Award for his historical novel, Children of the Lion. He was the first Sri Lankan author to publish a book internationally. He was reported to have died on 2 December 2019 which was confirmed by his son Jeremy Muller.


Muller was born in Kandy, the eldest in a family of thirteen. Dismissed from three schools, Muller was finally educated at Prestigious Royal College, Colombo. He left home at the age of eighteen to join the Royal Ceylon Navy as a signalman. He went on to briefly serve in the Ceylon Army and later joined the Colombo Port Commission as a signals officer.

Next, Muller tried his hand at journalism, eventually marrying Sortain Harris and leaving Sri Lanka in order to work at newspapers in the Middle East.

Muller retired from his lifelong work as decades of chain smoking took a toll on his health. He died on the 2nd of December 2019 at the age of 84 in Kandy with their two children and his grand son at his side.


  • The Jam Fruit Tree (Winner of the Gratiaen Prize) (1993)
  • Yakada Yaka (1994)
  • Once Upon A Tender Time (1995)
  • Spit and Polish
  • Maudiegirl and the von Bloss Kitchen

Historical fiction

  • Colombo – A Novel (1996)
  • Children of the Lion (Winner of the State Literary Award) (1997)
  • City of the Lion

Science fiction

  • Exodus 2300 (2003)


  • Firing at Random

Short stories

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Cemetery
  • Birdsong & Other Tales
  • All God's Children (2004) (shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award)
  • The Python of Pura Malai and Other Stories
  • Wedding Night (2007)


  • Father Samaan and the Devil
  • Sri Lanka – A Lyric
  • Propitiations
  • A Bedlam of Persuasions
  • Clouds over my Senses
  • Read Me in Silence
  • The Thin Red Line
  1. Our Star ship and its Sorry Crew

Children's fiction

  • Ranjit Discovers Where Kandy Began (1992) (also rendered in Sinhala)
  • The Python of Pura Malai and other stories

Academic works

  • The Elizabethans: The Origin of, and the Great Flowering of Modern English

Literature – Volume I


  • Glorying in that Great Divide
  • Conflict in Cinderella’s Kitchen
  • The Service Economy: Is there a Dangerous Dichotomisation of Wealth?
  • Productivity: The Key to Economic Domination
  • Tourism: Aiming for that Magic Million
  • God Men Rising: Challenging the Bedrock of Hindu Beliefs and Values
  • Conflict Within: Challenging Sovereignty and Human Solidarity


  • Carl Muller’s Mental Mayhems


  • Stamp Stories of the USA


  • Indian Journeys

Works edited

  • Mews and Purrs (Lancashire, England)]
  • The Tide Press of a Dedicated Life: A Tribute to Christine Spittel-Wilson
  • Rendering Unto Caesar
  • The Poems of Destry Muller (Winner of the State Literary Award)
  • A Rainbow Sash Adorns my Dreaming Sky
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