Everything you need to know about the winner of the Booker Prize 2022
Find out more about Shehan Karunatilaka and his winning book, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, including what the judges, critics and the author himself have said about it
Shehan Karunatilaka won the Booker Prize in 2022. He is considered one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors. In addition to his novels he has written rock songs, screenplays and travel stories.
Shehan Karunatilaka 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 songs, scripts and stories have 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.
Life after death in Sri Lanka: an afterlife noir, with nods to Dante and Buddha and yet unpretentious. Fizzes with energy, imagery and ideas against a broad, surreal vision of the Sri Lankan civil wars. Slyly, angrily comic.— The 2022 judges on The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida
In this video, Shehan Karunatilaka answers readers’ questions and talks about the ‘big ideas’ books that inspired him, including:
Plus he talks of his love of ‘Uncle’ Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King.
At a virtual event for Bookshop.org in June 2023, Shehan Karunatilaka was interviewed by 2015 Booker winner Marlon James, who ‘paved the way for hairy men’ to win the prize.