Tomb of Sand: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Description


WINNER OF THE 2022 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE

A playful, feminist, and utterly original epic set in contemporary northern India, about a family and the inimitable octogenarian matriarch at its heart.

“A tale tells itself. It can be complete, but also incomplete, the way all tales are. This particular tale has a border and women who come and go as they please. Once you’ve got women and a border, a story can write itself . . .”

Eighty-year-old Ma slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband. Despite her family’s cajoling, she refuses to leave her bed. Her responsible eldest son, Bade, and dutiful, Reebok-sporting daughter-in-law, Bahu, attend to Ma’s every need, while her favorite grandson, the cheerful and gregarious Sid, tries to lift her spirits with his guitar. But it is only after Sid’s younger brother—Serious Son, a young man pathologically incapable of laughing—brings his grandmother a sparkling golden cane covered with butterflies that things begin to change.

With a new lease on life thanks to the cane’s seemingly magical powers, Ma gets out of bed and embarks on a series of adventures that baffle even her unconventional feminist daughter, Beti. She ditches her cumbersome saris, develops a close friendship with a hijra, and sets off on a fateful journey that will turn the family’s understanding of themselves upside down.

Rich with fantastical elements, folklore, and exuberant wordplay, Geetanjali Shree’s magnificent novel explores timely and timeless topics, including Buddhism, global warming, feminism, Partition, gender binary, transcending borders, and the profound joys of life. Elegant, heartbreaking, and funny, it is a literary masterpiece that marks the American debut of an extraordinary writer.

Translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell

Author’s name pronounced: Ghee-TAHN-juh-lee Shree

About the Author


Geetanjali Shree (Ghee-TAHN-juh-lee Shree) is the author of five novels, including Tomb of Sand, for which she was awarded the 2022 International Book Prize, and several story collections. Her work has been translated into English, French, German, Serbian and Korean and has received numerous accolades. She lives in New Delhi.


Daisy Rockwell is a painter, writer and translator living in Vermont. She has translated a number of classic works of Hindi and Urdu literature, including Upendranath Ashk's Falling Walls, Bhisham Sahni's Tamas, and Khadija Mastur's The Women's Courtyard. Her 2019 translation of Krishna Sobti's A Gujarat Here, a Gujarat There was awarded the Modern Language Association’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Translation Prize.

Praise For…


“An extraordinarily exuberant and incredibly playful book. . . . It manages to take issues of great seriousness—bereavement, loss, death—and conjure up an extraordinary choir, almost a cacophony, of voices. . . . It is extraordinarily fun and it is extraordinarily funny.”  — Frank Wynne, chair of the International Booker committee

“A triumph of literature.”  — The Financial Times

“Shree is an excellent observer of women’s inner lives. . . . This book, this Booker, has come at last, and for me it has come as a breath of fresh air.”  — The Guardian

“A novel of enormous intelligence.”  — The Daily Telegraph

“Stunningly powerful . . . with Tomb of Sand, Shree claims space among the Partition writers she so vividly pays her dues to. Because as with the best literature, it speaks most urgently to the present.”  — The Hindu

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063299405
ISBN-10: 0063299402
Publisher: HarperVia
Publication Date: January 31st, 2023
Pages: 624
Language: English