Shehan Karunatilka wins the Booker Prize 2022 for his novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
Shehan Karunatilka wins the Booker Prize for his novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (Sort of Books).
The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Roundhouse, London, which was attended by Her Majesty The Queen Consort.
Neil MacGregor, Chair of the 2022 judges, said that 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.”
About the author
Shehan Karunatilaka is considered one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors. In addition to his novels he has written rock songs, screenplays and travel stories.
He emerged on to the global literary stage in 2011, when he won the Commonwealth Book Prize, the DSL and Gratiaen Prize for his debut novel, Chinaman. The book was declared the second-best cricket book of all time by Wisden.
Born in Galle, Sri Lanka, in 1975, 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. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, GQ and National Geographic. He has worked as an advertising copywriter and played guitar in a band called Independent Square.
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was chosen from a shortlist which included: Glory, by NoViolet Bulawayo; Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan; Treacle Walker, by Alan Garner; The Trees, by Percival Everett; Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout.