Shehan Karunatilaka’s book Chats With The Dead longlisted for Booker 2022
Award-winning Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka’s book Chats With The Dead, which is titled The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida in the UK, is in the race to win this year’s Booker Prize for Fiction. The news of the longlist broke late evening with an announcement from the organisers of one of the leading literary awards in the English-speaking world. This is Shehan’s first nomination for the prestigious Booker Prize. Chats With The Dead is published in India under Penguin’s Hamish Hamilton imprint, home to some of the most distinguished titles in literary fiction.
A classic whodunit with a brilliant twist, this work of fiction is based on renegade war photographer Maali Almeida, who is tasked with solving his murder. Embroiled in red tape, memories of war, and his ethical dilemmas and constantly interrupted by the overly chatty dead folks breezing through the afterlife, Almedia struggles to unravel his death.
A compulsively readable dark comedy of life, death and everything in between, Chats with the Dead searingly exposes the plight of a country caught in the aftermath of civil war. Its deliciously compelling absurdity holds you in thrall right from the very first page up to its startling denouement, constantly upending its premise with its staggering humanity.
The longlist for the 2022 Booker Prize also includes 13 titles. Booker Prize 2022’s jury is chaired by Neil MacGregor, cultural historian, writer and broadcaster along with a five-member panel – Critics Shahidha Bari and M. John Harrison, historian Helen Castor and novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou. The shortlist will be announced on 6 September and the winner on 17 October.