International Booker Prize: Geetanjali Shree, winner 2022

for his book Ret Samadhi. beyond the border (trans. Annie Montaut for the French version, tomb of sand, trans. Daisy Rockwell for English), Geetanjali Shree becomes the first Hindi novelist to win the International Booker Prize. This family saga follows the journey of Dadi, an 80-year-old widowed grandmother who one day leaves her eldest son’s house without a word. Fleeing the tradition that constrains her to this presence, she will find herself at her daughter’s house, an artist, to discover a new, unprecedented freedom.

She, who had never dreamed of obtaining this award, collected the sum of £50,000 and international recognition. “Behind this book and me is a rich and thriving literary tradition in Hindi and other South Asian languages. World literature will be enriched by discovering some of the best writers of these languages “, she said in her speech.

For the jurors of the prize, the book had managed to “captivate with its power, emotion and playfulness“. And to add:It is a luminous novel about India and its society, but with a haunting brilliance and fierce compassion, which weave together youth, age, men, women, family and nation. All in a kaleidoscopic whole. »

Pierre Astier, from the literary agency Astier-Pécher, congratulates ActuaLitté on this victory. “This gives food for thought: two years in a row, authors represented by French literary agencies have won the International Booker Prize. In 2021, it was David Diop, with the So Far So Good Agency for the translation ofsoul brotherand in 2022, Geetanjali Shree that we represent. »

Contacted by ActuaLitté, its French publisher “welcomes the recognition that the International Booker Prize will bring to Geetanjali Shree’s books. His book offers a look at India that crosses generations, showing that the taste for freedom joins that of personal liberation. Dadi is a woman who, in her earliest years, suddenly emancipates herself from the obligations and constraints that Indian society imposes. It is an extraordinary work.»

Ret Samadhiis a novel that shakes the boundaries: that of the familiar and the strange in a temporality where the moment gathers up all the past and the memory of the centuries, gender boundaries, those of age too, of the body and spirit, of love and hate, of family patterns, of dependence and freedom, of “enemy” nations, of the human and the non-human.

Geetanjali Shree’s writing powerfully translates this theme of perception through a style where interior monologue, dialogue, snippets of conversation and narration intertwine seamlessly, and where familiarity and poetry overlap, playing on the sounds and rhythms of a sometimes vertiginous way that the remarkable translation of Annie Montaut has been able to restore.

We want to thank the writer of this write-up for this remarkable content

International Booker Prize: Geetanjali Shree, winner 2022