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The International Library

The International Library: Geetanjali Shree and Daisy Rockwell on Tomb of Sand

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Monday, 1:00 pm EDT May 6, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been canceled.

When acclaimed author Geetanjali Shree first released her novel Tomb of Sand in 2018, it pushed the boundaries of experimental Hindi literature. After the publication of an English translation by Daisy Rockwell, Tomb of Sand received the 2022 International Book Prize, becoming the first work originally written in a South Asian language to do so. Shree, the award-winning novelist of Mai and The Empty Space has crafted a playful feminist epic following Ma, an inimitable 80-year-old matriarch living in northern India. Reeling from the death of her husband, Ma’s life changes after her son gives her a magical golden cane covered in butterflies. She sets off on an unconventional adventure, ditching her saris and embarking on a journey that upends her family. Subversive, entertaining, and completely original, Tomb of Sand explores borders, the gender binary, and cultural diversity. Rockwell, the award-winning translator of Krishna Sobti’s A Gujarat Here, A Gujarat There, received the 2023 Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award for her stunning translations of books in Hindi and Urdu. Shree and Rockwell collaborated over two years to craft the brilliant English-language version of Tomb of Sand. Join the two women for a fascinating conversation on the novel, the boundaries of language, and the relationship between writer and translator.

About The International Library

This event is part of The International Library, a series launched in collaboration with the American Library in Paris, Center for the Art of Translation, and the London Library offers conversations across time, place, and language. The International Library celebrates the live diffusion of in-person conversations in the hope of connecting new audiences across land and sea for a collective, intercultural experience. These conversations broach deeper questions about writing and translation as we learn to think critically about how stories are told, investigating the points of view, the timing of the translations, and the intended or assumed audiences as well as inspiration, philosophy, and craft.


In Conversation

  • Geetanjali Shree author photo Large

    Geetanjali Shree

    Geetanjali Shree

    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.

    Photo Credit: Rajkamal Publishers

  • Daisy Rockwell photo Large

    Daisy Rockwell

    Daisy Rockwell

    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.

    Photo Credit: Daisy Rockwell