Geetanjali Shree’s Hindi novel Ret Samadhi, translated into English by Daisy Rockwell as Tomb of Sand (Penguin Random House), has made it to the shortlist of six at the 2022 International Booker Prize, where it will stay in hopeful suspense until the winner is announced on May 26. This comes as a pleasant surprise and calls for celebration not only in the Hindi world, but well beyond it.
Soon after Tomb of Sand got longlisted, its Hindi publisher organised a reception in New Delhi. The announcement report published in The Guardian led off with the mention of Tomb of Sand, which the jury chair said was the first Hindi novel to be ever nominated for the prize. Moreover, the article only carried Shree’s photograph. The highlight of the longlist this year was that it included a novel in a language as remote as Hindi (globally), even though author Olga Tokarczuk too figured on the list for her Polish novel, The Books of Jacob. Tokarczuk had received this award for her novel Flights in 2018, the same year she received the Nobel Prize for Literature.