Shehan Karunathilake, a Sri Lankan writer, has won The Booker Prize, the world’s highest literary honour.
It is The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, a book written in English. Shehan Karunathileka, the recipient of the award, delivered an excellent speech from the stage. This is a condensed version of the story.
‘I’m going to say it. This was my goal when I wrote Seven Moons. It took ten years to accomplish this. It is understandable that corruption, fraud, and racism have not and will not be eradicated in Sri Lanka. It is a book about Sri Lanka. It had been out of print for about ten years. That’s a different story. And this book was on bookstore shelves in the Fantasy section. If I’m not mistaken, this book was frequently listed alongside Dragons and Ynikon. This book was not assigned to the political or literary sections. Okay, fine. Finally, I’d like to address Sri Lankans.
I wrote this book specifically for them. This is a victory. When the country is defeated, this is a victory. We also recently lost to Namibia. It makes no difference. The people of Sri Lanka are currently suffering greatly. I don’t have any weapons to save them from their plight. But let us celebrate this victory. Let’s try to win the T20 World Cup. So why not? ….’