Tsunami Survivor Sonali Deraniyagala Married Life, Partner, Past Affairs, Children, Net Worth, Age, Height, Wiki-Bio

After the death of her husband, Stephen Lissenburgh, Sonali Deraniyagala is in a marital relationship with her partner, Fiona Shaw.
Born NameSonali Deraniyagala
Birth PlaceColombo, Sri Lanka
Height5 feet 3 inches
Eye ColorBlack
NationalitySri Lankan
HusbandStephen Lissenburgh (m. 1988–2004)
WifeFiona Shaw (m. 2018),
Age55 Years
ParentsGemini and Edward

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When luck favors, everything will be fine might sound fatalistic. Nevertheless, Sonali Deraniyagala was lucky enough to survive a Tsunami that took the life of her whole family.

So, where were they and who were killed in the Tsunami, and how was Sonali able to survive it? Is she single after the unimaginable tragedy or is she in another relationship? Let’s get the details below.

Who is Sonali Deraniyagala?

Born in 1964 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala is a Sri Lankan memoirist and economist. She is currently, a faculty at the department of economics at SOAS University of London. She rose to prominence only after the publication of her memoir, Wave in 2013.

Sonali Deraniyagala. source: BBC

Deraniyagala’s book, Wave reflects her experience of an Indian Ocean Tsunami to which she lost both her parents, husband and two children in 2004. For her memoir, Deraniyagala won the PEN Ackerly Prize in 2013 and it was also shortlisted for National Book Critics Circle Award in autobiography category in 2014.

Who is Sonali Deraniyagala’s Married to?

Sonali Deraniyagala is currently in a same-sex marital relationship with her life partner, Fiona Shaw. Deraniyagala’s spouse, Shaw is a prominent Irish actor as well as theater and opera director.

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The openly lesbian couple of Sonali and Fiona tied the knot in 2018. After the tragic incident that took the life of her entire family, Sonali has found a partner to lean on to and both the pair are on cloud nine for the beginning of their relationship.

Sonali Deraniyagala and her partner, Fiona Shaw. Source: Mirror

Deraniyagala was previously in a marital relationship with her late husband, Stephen Lissenburgh. They exchanged their wedding vows in 1988 and their relationship was an ideal one until the devastating day arrived in their lives.

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When the Tsunami wave swept them away, Deraniyagala Stephen’s elder son, Nikhil Lissenburgh was 7 years old while their younger son, Vikram Lisseburgh was 5. The family of three generations was on a vacation at Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park on that day. While five disappeared from the scene, Sonali was able to survive by clinging to a tree despite being carried two miles inland.

Sonali’s husband Stephen Lissenburgh and their sons. Source: Daily Mail

Derayaniyagala’s late husband, Stephen was an economist. In contrast, her current life partner is an actress who is famous as Petunia Dursley in Harry Potter series and as Carolyn Martens on Killing Eve (2018- )

How Much is Sonali Deraniyagala’s Net Worth?

Sonali Deraniyagala has a net worth of $800 thousand as of 2019. She earned her fortune by working as a professor and researcher. On the other hand, Sonali’s partner, Fiona Shaw has a net worth of $5 million. 

The average salary of a professor in London-based universities is $100,933 per year. In addition, Sonali also works as a research scholar at Columbia University in New York and hence, she lives both in New York and London.

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Deraniyagala’s memoir, Wave is highly read and recommended. The 240 paged book has the Hardcover price of $32.54, paperback price of $13.12, and audio CD price of $14.99 on Amazon.

In 2013, Wave was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards Best Memoir & Autobiography. Likewise, in 2014, it got the nomination for National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. 

Body Measurements of Sonali Deraniyagala

Sonali Deraniyagala stands with a height of approximately 5 feet 3 inches while her partner, Fiona Shaw is 5 feet 8 inches. Moreover, the Sri Lankan memoirist cum economist has black hair and the same color of eyes.

Quick Facts About Sonali Deraniyagala

Where is the birthplace of Sonali Deraniyagala?

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Which nationality does Sonali Deraniyagala belong to?

Sri Lankan

What color are the eyes of Sonali Deraniyagala?


What color is the hair of Sonali Deraniyagala?


Which ethnicity does Sonali Deraniyagala belong to?