Shehan Karunatilaka’s second novel won the Booker Prize in 2022. It is a searing, mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war.

Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet gay, has woken up dead in what seems to be a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time when scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long.

But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has ‘seven moons’ to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka. 

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was announced as the winner of the Booker Prize 2022 on October 17 at a ceremony in London.

The Booker Prize 2022
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Shehan Karunatilaka

Shehan Karunatilaka

About the Author

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.
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Writing inspiration

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.

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

Buy the book & listen to Shehan's playlist

Shehan Karunatilaka created this playlist when he was writing ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’.