Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida won the Booker Prize 2022 on Monday.
Karunatilaka received a trophy from Queen Consort Camilla at a ceremony in London. He will also receive a £50,000 prize (Rs 46.62 lakh).
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is a satire based in war-torn Sri Lanka and tells a story about a dead war photographer on a mission in the afterlife.
Neil MacGregor, chair of the judges for this year’s prize, said the novel takes the readers on a “roller-coaster journey” of life and death right to what the author describes as the dark heart of the world, reported The Guardian. “And there the reader finds, to their surprise, joy, tenderness, love and loyalty,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Karunatilaka dedicated the award to the people of Sri Lanka.
“My hope is that in the not too distant future...Sri Lanka has understood that these ideas of corruption and race-baiting and cronyism have not worked and will never work,” he said, according to the BBC.
Karunatilaka’s work was picked as the winner from a shortlist of six novels. The other books on the shortlist were Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, The Trees by Percival Everett, Treacle Walker by Alan Garner, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout.
In May, Geetanjali Shree’s Ret Samadhi, translated from Hindi into English by Daisy Rockwell as Tomb of Sand, was awarded the International Booker Prize 2022.