Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand is first book in Indian language to win Booker Prize

Booker Prize. Image credit: Twitter/Booker Prize

IBNS: Author Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand has become the first book in the Indian language to win the International Booker Prize, media reports said.

Originally Ret Samadhi, Tomb of Sand is set in northern India and revolves around an 80-year-old woman.

Being “completely overwhelmed” by the prize, Shree said in her acceptance speech, “I never dreamt of the Booker, I never thought I could. What a huge recognition, I’m amazed, delighted, honoured and humbled.”

“There is a melancholy satisfaction in the award going to it. ‘Ret Samadhi/Tomb of Sand’ is an elegy for the world we inhabit, a lasting energy that retains hope in the face of impending doom. The Booker will surely take it to many more people than it would have reached otherwise, that should do the book no harm,” she added.

“But behind me and this book lies a rich and flourishing literary tradition in Hindi, and in other South Asian languages. World literature will be richer for knowing some of the finest writers in these languages. The vocabulary of life will increase from such an interaction,” the 64-year-old author further said.

Describing the novel as a “love letter to the Hindi language”, painter-writer Daisy Rockwell, who has translated the book, had joined Shree in receiving the prize.