The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka is on the Booker shortlist
Following the longlist, award-winning Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is on the shortlist for this year’s Booker Prize. This is Shehan’s first nomination for the prestigious award. The book was published originally in India under Penguin’s Hamish Hamilton imprint, home to some of the most distinguished titles in literary fiction. This is the first time that a book originating with an Indian publisher has been nominated for the Booker Prize twice in a row. In 2021, Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North was in the running to win the Booker Prize. In 2022, Tomb of Sand written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell, published by Penguin India, won the International Booker Prize.
A classic whodunit with a brilliant twist, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida searingly exposes the plight of a country caught in the aftermath of a civil war. Embroiled in red tape, memories of war, and ethical dilemmas, this unforgettable story captures readers right from the very first page up to its startling denouement, constantly upending its premise with its staggering humanity.
Shehan Karunatilaka is a Sri Lankan writer whose first book Chinaman won the Commonwealth Book Prize, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and the Gratiaen Prize, and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.
Commenting on his nomination, Shehan Karunatilaka says, ‘It’s been a privilege to be part of this longlist. Such an amazing mix of genres and ideas and voices. I wish I could read them all, but books aren’t being shipped to Sri Lanka at the moment, including my own. Seven Moons is about the atrocities and absurdities of Sri Lanka’s past. And Sri Lanka’s surreal present is an apt setting for its launch. Honoured and thrilled to be on this shortlist. Jayaweva’.
Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Random House India said, ‘I’m delighted to congratulate Shehan for this hugely well-deserved nomination. It has been important for us to represent literature from the subcontinent, and we are privileged that for the second year in a row one of our Sri Lankan authors has been shortlisted for the Booker. No one is better deserving of this honour’.
Penguin also brings the titles Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, Oh! William by Elizabeth Strout, and Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan to India. The complete shortlist for the 2022 Booker Prize includes six titles and information about them can be found here. The 2022 Booker Prize’s jury is chaired by Neil MacGregor, cultural historian, writer and broadcaster along with a four-person panel – critics Shahidha Bari and M. John Harrison, historian Helen Castor and novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou.
The winner will be announced on 17 October 2022.