Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Not posting, but writing

I'm working on my second novel so I won't be posting for a while (not even to MAT).

I don't know how long a while is, and I won't know until I get there, but the SOED says:

A period of time, considered with respect to its duration.

and, a little less obliquely:

The time spent (connoting trouble, effort or work) in doing something.

So that's what I'll be doing (not, please note, whiling away the time which implies that nothing will have been achieved by the time the whiling ends). And that's why I won't be posting for some while.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The White Tiger wins the Man Booker

Congratulations to Aravind Adiga whose first novel, The White Tiger, won the Man Booker prize last night. Michael Portillo - chair of the 2008 judges - said it 'knocked his socks off'.

I haven't read it yet, so I've still got my socks on ... but I heard Adiga interviewed this morning on the Today programme (and yesterday, before the announcement), and he sounded wise and thoughtful. The White Tiger deals with one man's quest for freedom in modern India; Adiga works as a journalist in India, and he's almost finished his second novel ... . The White Tiger is the fourth first novel to win the Man Booker. The others were The Bone People, The God of Small Things and Vernon God Little.

I've just finished Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture which was shortlisted for the Man Booker (and which I hoped would win but obviously Portillo's socks remained on his feet when he read it). It is a beautiful, poetic vision of Ireland embodied by the two main characters: one female, presbyterian, Irish and one hundred years old; the other sixtyish, male, English (but he's lived in Ireland for years) and Catholic. I recommend it.