Indian novelist Kiran Desai credits George W. Bush for her Booker Prize win. Had he not become president, she says, she might have applied for citizenship and been ineligible for the award, which is open only to British and Commonwealth citizens. (The author has lived in New York City for two decades.)
So intense was the fury [at the depiction of people of Nepalese descent] that Desai’s aunt, a doctor with a practice in the market, told India’s Outlook magazine that she has not “told people here about my niece, or the book, or that she won an award. The book contains many insensitive things.”
Amitava Kumar admitted impatience with this kind of response, but also “appeal[ed] for some understanding” of it. “People who find their lives or the places of their belonging turned into prize-winning fiction must find themselves estranged from their own sense of themselves,” he said.