The book narrates the story of an 80-year-old woman who struggles to cope with her husband’s death. After dealing with her depression, she goes on to visit Pakistan, to confront the past she left behind at the time of the Partition.
Shree’s book is one of six shortlisted for the prestigious award for translated fiction. These books will compete for the GBP 50,000 prize, which will be split evenly between the writer and the translator. The winners will be revealed on May 26.
Winner of the English Pen Award, Tomb of Sand first came out in Hindi as Ret Samadhi in 2018; the English translation was published by Penguin India in March 2022.
The International Booker Prize shortlist this year is dominated by women. The other five titles on the shortlist, which was announced at the London Book Fair, are Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur from Korean; A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls from Norwegian; Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Samuel Bett and David Boyd from Japanese; Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Frances Riddle from Spanish; and The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft from Polish.
Born in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh in 1957, Shree currently lives in New Delhi. The author has received and been shortlisted for a number of awards and fellowships. Tomb of Sand is the first of her books to be published in the UK (by Tilted Axis).
The International Booker Prize was established in 2005 to honour an author and translator equally for a single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK. It was previously known as the Man Booker Prize. Last year’s winner was At Night All Blood Is Black, written by French novelist David Diop and translated by Anna Moschovakis.