Novel by Sri Lanka’s Shehan Karunatilaka wins Booker Prize
Sri Lanka’s Shehan Karunatilaka beat China’s Liang Yan for his novel The House of Masks.
Sri Lanka’s Shehan Karunatilaka has won the Booker Prize for his novel, The House of Masks.
On Tuesday morning, the Sri Lankan author’s name appeared atop an envelope on the Booker Prize judges’ table, as the long-awaited prize was handed out on the first floor of London’s Southwark Cathedral.
“We were here in Southwark Cathedral with a very special present for the world. Thank you, everybody,” he said.
The decision meant a lifetime of literary joy for Sri Lanka’s Shehan Karunatilaka.
For the second year running, a Sri Lankan wins the Booker Prize.
In 2015, Karunatilaka was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, which he subsequently won with his novel The House of Masks. The House of Masks had been shortlisted for 10 weeks.
The win also came on the heels of Karunatilaka’s debut, The Other Kingdom, which was shortlisted and was subsequently named the Asian Book of the Year in the World Literature category by the International Prize for Biography. In March of last year, Karunatilaka was awarded the 2019 Asian Writers’ Conference Young Writer’s Prize.
On Sunday, he announced he was taking a break from his work to be with his fiancee and family, and not to mention a month of holidays he planned to take with his family.
Speaking to News Corp at the time, Karunatilaka said: “This is a break for me, not for my work. This is a break for my family and for my fiancee. I am with my family and we are celebrating this moment. So I am not going to write for the next six months.”
“I have said very firmly that the book I am working on right now should be published in 2017, and I will be doing that before I go on holiday.”
“This book needs time and space to grow up. My work will be in the air, the wind, like a butterfly,” he said at the time.
He said it had been a difficult six months for him, and