Chetna Maroo Wins This Year’s Plimpton Prize


The Revel

Photograph by Graeme Jackson.

We are thrilled to announce that Chetna Maroo has won the 2022 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, which will be presented at our Spring Revel in April. The prize, awarded annually since 1993 by the editorial committee of The Paris Review’s board of directors, celebrates an outstanding piece of fiction by an emerging writer published in the Review during the preceding year. Previous winners include Ottessa Moshfegh, Emma Cline, and Atticus Lish. 

Maroo’s deft, affecting “Brothers and Sisters” appeared in our Winter 2021 issue. “At first glance,” as the Review’s publisher, Mona Simpson, says, “it looks like a traditional story, told traditionally, in stately English, but without the usual conventions of context. All of Maroo’s innovations come by way of implication. A girl named Oma goes on a school trip while her family prepares five nights of wedding festivities for her twenty-two-year-old sister. On the train, a boy named Daniel, who spends Saturdays passing out religious literature by the station, points to a scene outside the window: a man skating awkwardly on a pond. Daniel and Oma begin to question their beliefs in the religions they’ve inherited, while forming a delicate relationship.” Maroo pays attention to the small torments, affinities, and shifts in mood that are rarely expressed out loud. As she writes in the opening scene, when Oma’s older sister tells her younger siblings that their turn will come to grow up and get married, “since it was impossible for the sisters to imagine themselves at twenty-two without a vague, unsettling sense of their own absence, they each turned away and occupied themselves with other thoughts.”

Maroo, a British Indian writer born in Kenya, lives in London and worked until recently as an accountant. Her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including the Stinging Fly and the Cincinnati Review, and her first novel, Western Lane, will be published in 2023 by Picador (UK), Farrar, Straus and Giroux (U.S.), and Knopf (Canada). 

We very much look forward to toasting Chetna Maroo and Jamaica Kincaid, this year’s recipient of the Hadada Award, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on April 12. This will be the first Revel since 2019, and tickets are still available—won’t you join us?