|Born||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Occupation||Writer, Creative Director|
|Period||2000 to present|
|Subjects||Sri Lankan society|
His debut novel, The Painter, was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 2000, but was never published.
His second novel, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, uses cricket as a device to write about Sri Lankan society. It tells the story of an alcoholic journalist’s quest to track down a missing cricketer of the 1980s. The book was critically hailed winning many awards. On 21 May 2012, Chinaman was announced as the regional winner for Asia of the Commonwealth Book Prize and went on to win the overall Commonwealth Book Prize announced June 8. It also won the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and the 2008 Gratiaen Prize. Published to great acclaim in India and the UK, the book was one of the Waterstones 11 selected by British bookseller Waterstones as one of the top debuts of 2011 and was also shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Novel Prize.
He has played bass with Sri Lankan bands Independent Square and Powercut Circus. An advertising copywriter by trade, he also writes features for the Guardian, Newsweek, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wisden, The Cricketer and the Economic Times. He was educated at S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya, Sri Lanka, and currently resides in Singapore.
Awards and honors
- 2012: Commonwealth Book Prize, overall winner, Chinaman
- 2012: DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, overall winner, Chinaman
- 2008: Gratiaen Prize, winner, Chinaman
- 2000: Gratiaen Prize, short-list, The Painter
- Hindustan Times, "Spin on a yarn" accessed February 12, 2011.
- Commonwealth Book Prize & Commonwealth Short Story Prize Regional Winners 2012.
- Alison Flood (8 June 2012). "Shehan Karunatilaka wins 2012 Commonwealth book prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- The Sunday Times, "Shehan’s winning googly" accessed February 12, 2011.