By Ethan Shea
Last week, Shehan Karunatilaka received the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. The Booker Prize is a literary award granted annually to an exceptional work of fiction written in the English language. Past winners include remarkable writers such as Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Yann Martel.
Karunatilaka grew up in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. He went on to study in New Zealand and has lived in several large cities, such as London and Singapore. Today, Karunatilaka lives in his hometown of Colombo, where he works writing ad copy to supplement his literary endeavors.
The winning novel concerns the Sri Lankan Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2009, and the following fallout of the conflict. Being only the second novel from Karunatilaka, writing The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida about such a lengthy war was a bold endeavor. However, the potential his debut novel, Chinaman, promised was clearly realized in Karunatilaka’s most recent work.
To learn more about Shehan Karunatilaka and his award-winning novel, check out this New York Times article.
You will also find information on last year’s Booker Prize finalists in this blog.
Ethan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.