Shehan Karunatilaka Wins 2022 Booker Prize

By: Brandon Williams, October 21st, 2022 1:10 am.

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka has won the 2022 Booker Prize. He is the first-ever Sri Lankan winner of the award.

Shehan was presented the trophy by Her Majesty The Queen Consort, Camilla during a ceremony at the Roundhouse in London this past week. Singer Dua Lipa provided the keynote speech.

Upon accepting the award, Karunatilaka said “My hope for Seven Moons is this: that in the not-too-distant future, 10 years or whatever it takes, that it is read in a Sri Lanka that has understood that these ideas of corruption and race-baiting and cronyism have not worked, and will never work.”

The Booker Prize is widely considered the most prestigious literary prize in the United Kingdom and among the most in the world. It comes with a £50,000 reward (approx. $55,000 USD).

Among the previous winners of the award are William Golding, Salman Rushdie, J.M. Coetzee, Anita Brookner, Kingsley Amis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Peter Carey, Yann Martel, John Banville, Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood, and Damon Galgut.

The award was originally limited to Commonwealth, Irish and South African citizens, which later became any English-language novel.

It has also been known as the Booker Prize for Fiction and as the Man Booker Prize (when it was sponsored by the Man Group). It is now sponsored by Crankstart.

There is a sister award called the International Booker Prize, which is for any book translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. It has the same size of reward, but it is split between the author and the translator.

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