This year’s shortlist for the International Booker Prize for translated fiction includes five authors, including Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, among which Tomb of Sand (Ret Samadhi in Hindi) by Geetanjali Shree has become the first book translated from Hindi to be shortlisted.
Tomb of Sand
About her selection, author Geetanjali Shree said: “It is a recognition of a very special kind. When a work attracts unknown people sitting in faraway places, then it must have the ability to transcend its specific cultural context and touch the universal and the human”. That is the true ratification. The work must be good, the translation must be excellent! It’s a great moment for Daisy and me. It shows how rich our dialogue has been. That’s what translation is all about.”
Geetanjali Shree has written four novels: Mai, Tirohit, Hamara Sheher Us Baras, and Khali Jagah, and two collections of short stories in Hindi. Also to her credit is Between Two Worlds: An Intellectual Biography of Premchand.
Her stories have been translated into Gujarati, English, German, Serbian and Japanese. Her novel Khali Jagah was translated into Urdu in Pakistan and is now being translated into English. Mai’s English translation was shortlisted for the Hutch-Crossword Translation Award in 2000. She has received the Indu Sharma Katha Sammaan, Hindi Akademi Sahityakar Sammaan and Dwijdev Sammaan for her contribution to Hindi literature.
Elena Knows shares the “shortlist” of 6 titles from 3 continents alongside Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung (South Korea), A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse (Norway), Heaven by Mieko Kawakami (Japan), Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree (India) and The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland).
“These six titles in six languages explore the frontiers and limits of the human experience, whether it’s haunting and surreal, poignant and tender, or lush and whimsical. In their differences, they offer glimpses of literature from around the world, yet they share fierce and impressive originality that is a testament to the infinite inventiveness of fiction,” said jury president, translator Frank Wynne.
The “shortlist” was selected by a jury also made up of author and academic Merve Emre; the writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; writer, comedian and presenter Viv Groskop; and translator and author Jeremy Tiang. This is the first time that a translator chairs this body. 135 books were considered and there was a record number of submissions received. The winner of the Booker International Prize 2022 will be announced on May 26 in London.
The award celebrates the best fiction translated into English in the last two years. Argentina competes with this police enigma: the novel begins with the lifeless appearance of a woman, Rita, in the church she attended. The investigation is considered closed and her mother is the only one who does not desist in clarifying the crime.