Indian writer Geetanjali Shree and American translator Daisy Rockwell won the International Booker Prize for “Tomb of Sand,”. Originally written in Hindi, it’s the first book in any Indian language to win the high-profile award, which recognizes fiction from around the world that has been translated into English. The 50,000-pound ($63,000) prize money will be split between New Delhi-based Shree and Rockwell, who lives in Vermont.
“Tomb of Sand” is published in Britain by a small publisher Tilted Axis Press. It was founded by translator Deborah Smith, who won the 2016 International Booker for translating Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian” to publish books from Asia.
The essence of the book:
The book tells the story of an octogenarian widow who dares to cast off convention and confront the ghosts of her experiences during the subcontinent’s tumultuous 1947 partition into India and Pakistan. Shree’s book beat five other finalists including Polish Nobel literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Claudia Piñeiro of Argentina and South Korean author Bora Chung to be awarded the prize at a ceremony in London.
About the International Booker Prize:
The International Booker Prize is awarded every year to a translated work of fiction published in the U.K. or Ireland. It is run alongside the Booker Prize for English-language fiction. The prize was set up to boost the profile of fiction in other languages, which accounts for only a small share of books published in Britain and to salute the often unacknowledged work of literary translators.