Geetanjali Shree’s first translated novel in Booker Prize long list
London/New Delhi: Novel translated into Hindi by author Geetanjali Shree”sand tombis one of 13 books long listed for the International Booker Prize. It is the first work of Hindi-language fiction to make the long list of the prestigious literary prize unveiled in London on Thursday.
Shree’s book, originally published as “Ret Samadhiand translated into English by Daisy Rockwell, was described by the judges as “strong and irresistible”. He will compete for the prize of GBP 50,000, which is split equally between the author and the translator.
Additionally, for the first time in 2022, shortlisted authors and translators will each receive £2,500, up from £1,000 in previous years, bringing the total prize value to £80,000.
“The 13 long-listed novels have been announced. These are works of fiction translated into English from 11 languages and hailing from 12 countries on four continents – including Hindi for the first time,” said the announcement on the Booker Prizes website.
“sand tomb” tells the story of an 80-year-old woman who is depressed after the death of her husband. Eventually she overcomes her depression and decides to travel to Pakistan to finally face the past she left behind during partition .
‘The ever-changing perspectives and timelines of the inventive, energetic Geetanjali Shree’Tomb of sand’ lead us into every corner of the life and surprising past of an 80-year-old woman,” the judges said of the Hindi novel.
“Daisy Rockwell’s fiery translation rises admirably to the complexity of the text, which is full of puns and verve. A strong and compelling novel,” they said.
Based in New Delhi, Shree, born in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, is the author of three novels and several storybooks with her work translated into English, French, German, Serbian and Korean.
Reacting to the Long List nomination, Shree said: “Writing is its own reward. But getting recognition as special as Booker’s is a wonderful bonus. The fact that there’s a lot of lamentable stuff in the world today, adds to the value of positive vibes in areas like literature stands out in my heart as a hope…”
The author’s other Hindi novels are “May”, “Hamara Shahar Us Baras” and “Tirohit”.
Shree, 64, is also active in theatre, having received and been shortlisted for a number of awards and scholarships. ‘Tomb of sand’ is one of his first books to be published in the UK.
Rockwell said it was an honor to translate the book into English.
” “Grave of Sand” is a rich, beautiful and experimental work. It was an honor to work with Geetanjali Shree to create the English translation. I am beyond thrilled that the International Booker Prize jury has chosen our book for the long list,” Rockwell said in a statement.
Also in the long list are “paradise“, written by Fernanda Melchor and translated by Sophie Hughes; “Swelln”, written by Mieko Kawakami and translated by Samuel Bett and David Boyd; “love in the big city“, written by Sang Young Park and translated by Anton Hur; “Especially happy stories“, written by Norman Erikson Pasaribu and translated by Tiffany Tsao; “Elena knows“, written by Claudia Piñeiro and translated by Frances Riddle.
The other novels on the list are:Mother’s Book” by Violaine Huisman and translated by Leslie Camhi, “More than I love my life” by David Grossman and translated by Jessica Cohen, “Phenotypes” by Paulo Scott and translated by Daniel Hahn, “A new name: Septology VI-VII” by Jon Fosse and translated by Damion Searls, “after the sun” by Jonas Eika and translated by Sherilyn Hellberg, “The Books of Jacob”written by Olga Tokarczuk and translated by Jennifer Croft, and “cursed rabbit“, written by Bora Chung and translated by Anton Hur.
Tokarczuk and Croft have already won the Booker Prize for writing and translation”Flights“, while Grossman and Cohen received the Booker for their work on “A horse walks into a bar“.
“From the intimate to the epic, from the numinous to the profane, the books make up a long, passionately debated list that traces a ring around the world. These 13 titles from 12 countries and 11 languages explore the breadth and depth of human experience, and testify to the power of language and literature,” said Wynne, the first female translator to chair Booker’s jury.
Complementing the Booker Prize for Fiction, the prize is awarded annually for a single book translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The 2022 shortlist for the prize will be announced on April 7 at the London Book Fair and the winner on May 26 at a ceremony in London.