Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree wins International Booker Prize
27 May 2022
Tomb of Sand (published by Penguin Random House India, March 2022) by New Delhi based Indian author Geetanjali Shree, and translated by Daisy Rockwell, has been named winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize.
In northern India, an eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband, and then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a transgender person – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two. To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.
Frank Wynne, Booker Prize judges chair, described Tomb of Sand, also the first novel originally written in any Indian language, and the first book translated from Hindi, to win the award, thusly:
This is a luminous novel of India and partition, but one whose spellbinding brio and fierce compassion weaves youth and age, male and female, family and nation into a kaleidoscopic whole.