Sri Lankan Writer Wins 2022 Booker Prize For Fiction
2022 Booker Prize-winning novel already has its title and its author. Yesterday Seven Moons Of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka has been announced the best book of the year in the English speaking world.
Shenan Karunatilaka has become the second Sri Lankan writer to receive this leading literary award. It was his second novel. Also being a rock songs, screenplays and travel stories writer, Shenan Karunatilaka is considered one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors. He emerged on the world literary stage in 2011, when he won the Commonwealth Prize, the DSL and Gratiaen Prize for his debut novel, Chinaman. Born in Galle, Sri Lanka, Karunatilaka grew up in Colombo, studied in New Zealand and has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam and Singapore. He currently lives in Sri Lanka.
The story of his Booker Prize-winning novel develops in Colombo in 1990. Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet gay, is woken up dead in what seems to be a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time when scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has ‘seven moons’ to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka.
"Any one of the six shortlisted books would have been a worthy winner. What the judges particularly admired and enjoyed in The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was the ambition of its scope, and the hilarious audacity of its narrative techniques. This is a metaphysical thriller, an afterlife noir that dissolves the boundaries not just of different genres, but of life and death, body and spirit, east and west. It is an entirely serious philosophical romp that takes the reader to ’the world’s dark heart’ - the murderous horrors of civil war Sri Lanka. And once there, the reader also discovers the tenderness and beauty, the love and loyalty, and the pursuit of an ideal that justify every human life," this is how Neil MacGregor, Chair of the 2022 judges described the judges' choice for 2022.
Last year the Booker Prize for Fiction was handed to The Promise by Damon Galgut.