LONDON/NEW DELHI: Author Geetanjali Shree’s novel ‘Tomb of Sand’ on Thursday (April 8) became the first Hindi fiction work to be shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. Mr.’s book, translated into English by Daisy Rockwell and described by the judges as a “vigorous and irresistible novel”, will compete with five other titles from around the world for the coveted £50,000 literary prize, awarded equally between author and translator. is divided.

‘It’s a very special identity’

“The (International) Booker is a very special recognition and I didn’t wait for it, didn’t expect it, so it’s coming to me is a wonderful surprise and recognition for our work – Daisy (Rockwell) What did my translator have and my original work is ‘Sand Samadhi’,” Shree told PTI. “It’s such an amazing ratification that it comes from the Booker Committee, and it has come up again and again, first they put me on the long list and now the shortlist … Of course, it takes a while to sink in,” said the 64-year-old author, Looking forward to attending the awards ceremony in London on May 26 this year.


The other five titles on the shortlist announced at the London Book Fair include: ‘Cursed Bunny’ by Bora Chung, translated from Korean by Anton Hur; ‘A New Name: Septology VI-VII’ by John Fosse, translated by Damien Sears of Norwegian; ‘Heaven’ by Miko Kawakami, translated from Japanese by Samuel Bate and David Boyd; ‘Elena Nose’ by Claudia Piero, translated from Spanish by Francis Riddle; and ‘The Books of Jacob’ by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft.

Importance and Art of Translation

“Translation is an intimate, complex dance that transcends borders, cultures and languages. There is little, to compare to the awe and excitement of discovering a perfect pairing of writer and translator? Chairman of the Judges and first translator Frank Wynne called on Booker to lead the judging panel. “As a jury we have had the pleasure of reading many extraordinary books, and choosing a shortlist from among them has been difficult and sometimes heartbreaking. These six titles in six languages ​​explore the limits and limits of human experience, whether haunted and surreal, poignant and tender, or exuberant and whimsical. In their differences, they offer glimpses of literature from around the world, but they all share the fiery and breath-taking originality that is a testament to the endless inventiveness of the imagination.”


For the first time in 2022, shortlisted writers and translators will receive £2,500, up from £1,000 in previous years, bringing the total value of the prize to £80,000. Regarding Gitanjali Shree’s Hindi novel, the judges said, “The ever-changing perspective and timeline of Gitanjali Shree’s inventive, energetic ‘Tomb of Sand’ takes us back to the life and astonishing past of an 80-year-old woman.”

He said, “Daisy Rockwell’s spirited translation rises admirably to the complexity of the text, which is full of wordplay and poetry. A powerful and unique novel.”

Who is Geetanjali Shree and what is her novel?


Staying extremely busy after making history by making his novel a long list for the International Booker Prize 2022, the New Delhi-based Mr., author of three novels and several story collections, said a flood of congratulatory WhatsApp messages broke the good news for him. . “I’m not at home. I am out to attend a conference. I haven’t opened my email, probably my publisher’s mail in London and so on. The sudden influx of WhatsApp messages from my translator and others who would have seen it online, how did I know about ‘Tomb of Raid’ that it has been shortlisted,” she said.

The Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh-born writer, whose work has been translated into several languages ​​including English, French, German, Serbian and Korean, has been shortlisted for several awards and fellowships. “Tomb of Red” is one of his first books to be published in the UK. His translator, Daisy Rockwell, is a painter, writer and translator based in Vermont, USA, who has translated many classic works of Hindi and Urdu literature.


The story of the novel is set in North India as an 80-year-old woman falls into a deep depression following the death of her husband, then resurfaces to find a new lease on life. To her family’s concern, she insists on traveling to Pakistan, as well as facing the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating how a mother, a daughter, a woman, a What does it mean to be a feminist?
“Rather than responding to tragedy with seriousness, Gitanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant word play result in a book that is engaging, witty and utterly original, at the same time against the devastating impact of boundaries and limits. as an immediate and timely protest, whether between religions, countries or genders,” noted the international Booker Prize judges.

The judging panel is made of Wynne (chair); author and academic Merv Emre; author and lawyer Patina Gappa; author, comedian, and TV, radio and podcast presenter, Viv Groskopp; and translator and writer Jeremy Tiang. This year the judges considered 135 books, which received a record number of submissions. As a complement to the Booker Prize for Fiction, the international prize is awarded each year to a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The 2022 winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 26 May.