‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’ wins the Booker Prize

Shehan Karunatilaka has become the second ever Sri Lankan author to win the revered Booker Prize. His novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was named the winner of the prize in London on Monday evening.

The announcement was made by Neil MacGregor, Chair of the 2022 judges, in a ceremony at the Roundhouse, London, on October 17.

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida tells the story of a war photographer who has woken up dead in what seems to be a celestial visa office. He has ‘seven moons’ to try and solve the mystery of his death and to help unveil a cache of photos that will rock war-torn Sri Lanka.

The novel’s central character is gay, but he has remained ‘in the closet’ throughout his life.

In addition to his two novels, Karunatilaka has worked as an advertising copywriter, as well as writing songs, screenplays and travel stories.

The novel has been described as a searing, mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war.

The Booker Prize is given to the best fiction novel written English that has been published in the United Kingdom. The prize was established in 1969 and was originally limited to authors from the United Kingdom and several British colonies, but in recent years the rules have been changed to open the prize to a much wider range of authors.

Recent winners have included Damon Galgut’s The Promise, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stewart, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristio, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Milkman by Anna Burns.

Over the years many well-know authors have been granted the prize including Richard Flanagan, Hilary Mantel, Marlon James, Julian Barnes, Iris Murdoch, William Golding, Salman Rushdie, Kingsley Amis, J. M Coetzee, Thomas Keneally, Kauzo Ishiguro, Roddy Doyle, Ben Okri, Peter Carey, A.S. Byatt, Michael Ondaatje,Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Alan Hollinghurst.

OIP Staff

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