Author becomes the first Indian to win International Booker Prize
Geetanjali Shree has become the first Indian winner of the International Booker Prize, a literary award ceremony hosted in London on Thursday, for her novel Tomb of Sand. She was chosen as the winner out of a total of six finalists, which included Polish Nobel literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Claudia Piñeiro of Argentina and South Korean author Bora Chung.
Shree’s novel which was translated to English by American translator Daisy Rockwell is the first Hindi-language book to be shortlisted for the £50,000 award.
Many have hailed the book for its gripping storyline about an 80-year-old woman whose husband dies in the wake of the India-Pakistan partition. Frank Wynne, Chair of the Judges, admitted that he had never read a novel like Tomb of Sand adding, “It has an exuberance and a life and a power and a passion that the world could do with right now.”
In her acceptance speech, Shree said, “I never dreamt of the Booker, I never thought I could. What a huge recognition. I’m amazed, delighted, honoured and humbled. Behind me and this book lies a rich and flourishing literary tradition in Hindi, and in other South Asian languages.”