October 11, 2006

Kiran Desai wins Booker

Kiran Desai, an Indian born has won the Booker prize for her novel "The Inheritance of Loss". At age 35, she is now the youngest winner of the award.

"Never again," Sai concludes, "could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only to herself, that she might create her own mean little happiness and live safely within it."

The novel is set in New York, with a teenage girl as the lead character. The New York Times says the novel "manages to explore, with intimacy and insight, just about every contemporary international issue: globalization, multiculturalism, economic inequality, fundamentalism and terrorist violence. Despite being set in the mid-1980's, it seems the best kind of post-9/11 novel." This was Kiran's second novel. She had debuted with "Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard" in 1998.

The other books which had made it to the list were were Kate Grenville's "The Secret River", M J Hyland's "Carry Me Down", Hisham Matar's "In the Country of Men" and Edward St Aubyn's "Mother's Milk".

Kiran's mother Anita Desai, was herself a celebrated novelist, having been nominated for the Booker a total of four times, though she never won.

I haven't read the novel, so I can't comment on it, but if you would like to read about it, you could consider going to the following pages.
The review at the New York Times and Sepia Mutiny
Kiran Desai's interview by Jabberwock, Bold Type and Critical Mass
Finally, here personal biography on BBC
Other interesting posts by Amitava Kumar and Guradian

Here is a list of the excerpts from the books nominated for the booker. (Link, Link)