Synopses & Reviews
Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida — war photographer, gambler, and closet queen — has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. In a country where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers, and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts with grudges who cluster round can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to the photos that will rock Sri Lanka.
Ten years after his prize-winning novel Chinaman established him as one of Sri Lanka's foremost authors, Shehan Karunatilaka is back with a "thrilling satire" (Economist) and rip-roaring state-of-the-nation epic that offers equal parts mordant wit and disturbing, profound truths.
"This book is difficult to categorise. With ghosts and spirits in the afterlife, it is part supernatural. But it also gives you a thorough grounding in Sri Lankan politics. And as the narrative gathers pace it becomes a whodunnit. The result is a thrilling read." Rebecca Jones, BBC
"The obvious literary comparisons are with the magical realism of Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez. But the novel also recalls the mordant wit and surrealism of Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls or Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita... Karunatilaka has done artistic justice to a terrible period in his country's history." Tomiwa Owolade, The Guardian
"A mix of mischievous magic realism and absurdist humour... [A] wild, uncategorisable [novel]." Claire Allfree, The Telegraph
About the Author
Shehan Karunatilaka is the award-winning author of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is his second novel. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he studied in New Zealand and has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, and Singapore.