The book was first published in India in 2020 as Chats With The Dead
Penguin Random House India is proud to announce that critically acclaimed Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, which was first published by Penguin India as Chats With The Dead, has won this year’s Booker Prize for Fiction. This is the first Booker Prize for Shehan. This was also the first time that books originating from an Indian publisher had been nominated for the Booker Prize two years in a row. In 2021, Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North was in the running for the Booker Prize. Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell, and published by Penguin in India, was also the winner of the International Booker Prize 2022.
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 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.
Commenting on winning the award, author Shehan Karunatilaka says, ‘Seven Moons has been on a phenomenal journey across many drafts and years. Was an honour to be part of a magnificent shortlist. And it is surreal to experience such an outpouring of love since the announcement. It’s still slowly sinking in but I am absolutely ecstatic.’
Manasi Subramaniam, Associate Publisher and Head of Rights at Penguin Random House India and the editor of the book, said, ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almedia by Shehan Karunatilaka is a masterful work of modern philosophy that insists on being uproariously funny through all its deft acrobatics through the living and the dead. I am delighted that this brilliant book has won the Booker Prize 2022.’
Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘I am absolutely delighted at the honour and recognition being given to Shehan Karunatilaka’s work. It’s wonderful to see writers from South Asia receive long-overdue international recognition in this extraordinary year for Penguin Press, through both the Booker International Prize for Tomb of Sand and the Booker Prize for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.’
The Booker Prize 2022’s jury is chaired by Neil MacGregor, cultural historian, writer and broadcaster along with a five-person panel- Critics Shahidha Bari and M. John Harrison, historian Helen Castor and novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou.
About the author:
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.