After winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature recently, Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis has been shortlisted again for yet another literary award, The Hindu Literary Prize 2012.Thayil gives us a brief insight into the book.
Narcopolis has been nominated for yet another award, The Hindu Literary Prize. How does it feel to have your debut novel become an award favourite?
It is gratifying and humbling in equal measure. As with the DSC Prize, the Hindu Literary Prize shortlist is a strong one. Each book on the list has a good chance of winning.
In an earlier interview, you had once mentioned the initial bad reviews received in India by Narcopolis. What do you think changed for the book?
That it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The Hindu Literary Prize seeks to recognise and encourage Indian writing in English. As part of this fraternity, of Indian authors writing in English, what are your views on the Indian literary scene today?
At the moment, Indian fiction seems wide open to the world. I think we are in for interesting times.
You’ve been a poet, a journalist and a guitarist, and now, a successful novelist. How has the transition to writing prose been?
Any new book or project?
My new novel is almost ready, though I’ve been saying that for months. It’s called Sex Lives of the Saints.
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