Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka was named winner of the 2022 Booker Prize for his second novel “The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.” Karunatilaka was presented with the trophy by Her Majesty the Queen Consort Camilla in a ceremony held on October 17 in London.
Published by U.K. independent press Sort of Books, Seven Moons is set in 1990 Colombo, Sri Lanka, and follows the death of a war photographer during the country's civil war that leads to an afterlife murder investigation.
“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,” said Neil MacGregor, British historian and chair of the 2022 judges. “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.”
This year was the first in-person event for Booker Prize winners since 2019. Previous Prize winners and shortlisted authors were in attendance, and pop star Due Lipa also gave a speech about the effects that books have had on her career.
Last year’s Booker winner Damon Galgut presented Karunatilaka with £50,000 and a designer-bound edition of his book. Shortlisted authors received £2,500. given to each shortlisted author.
Norton will release publish a U.S. edition of Seven Moons November 1 in trade paperback and as an e-book.