On Monday, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka won the 2022 Booker Prize for his novel, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. He received the winner’s trophy from Queen Consort Camilla while last year’s winner Damon Galgut handed him the £50,000 cash prize.
Karunatilaka dedicated the award to the people of Sri Lanka. In his speech, he said, “My hope for Seven Moons is this…that in the not-so-distant future… it is read in a Sri Lanka that has understood that these ideas of corruption and race-baiting and cronyism have not worked and will never work.”
“I hope it’s in print in 10 years and if it is, I hope it’s written in [a] Sri Lanka that learns from its stories, and that Seven Moons will be in the fantasy section of the bookshop…next to the dragons, the unicorns [and] will not be mistaken for realism or political satire,” he added.
Karunatilaka is the second Sri Lankan to win the award. Michael Ondaatje was the first to win it in 1992 for his novel The English Patient, which was later made into a movie.