Saturday, October 28, 2006
the inheritance of genes
she is the youngest author and woman(35) to win the man booker prize.her mother anita desai came very close to the coveted prize three times and missed it.1980,1984 and 1999.it took her seven torturous years to complete the book,"the inheritance of loss".this is her second book,the first one was "hullabaloo in the lit orchard" written in 1999.the man booker prize winning book originally had 1800 pages which was cut to a sixth i.e. to 300 pages.her mother was the first person to see the manuscript.the old guard sniffed a winner.hermione lee,chairperson of the man booker judges said "the winner was chosen after a long,passionate and generous debate.it is a magnificent novel of humane breadth and wisdom,comic tenderness and powerful political acuteness".
anita desai,living in a remote tibetan settlement, advised her daughter to wear a sari for the award dinner.kiran was stressed and felt that not being used to wearing a sari,it would take a long time to wear one and even if held with safety pins it might fall.also it was completely transparent.and she couldn't risk a wardrobe malfunction.
at the award dinner,she thanked her parents.because she said she is indian.her father had reminded her to do so.she is very close to both her parents.they are separated and live their own lives.they provided a strong support system to her and goaded her to finish the book.she stayed a lot with her mother in the last stages of the book.both wrote in separate rooms and met only for coffee and meal breaks.her mother hadn't read her book until it was finished.while she was writing the prize winning book she also received support from suketu mehta and amitav ghosh."writing doesn't come from contentment and champagne.that's not where a novel comes from.writers lock themselves in their rooms ,they travel,they vanish and sometimes their lives fall apart".she lived frugally."everything i own can be fitted into two suitcases".of course, she is now richer by 93,000 us dollars.
i read excerpts of the book and i was bowled over.i hope to get hold of a paperback soon and read what has been described as some exquisite writing.she has been influenced and inspired by her mother's writings, she said.but her style is different."writing is in my blood". no doubt,kiran has inherited a lot of her genes from her mother.