The Man Booker Prize winner was announced and I should have put some money on this - the 5/1 outsider Kiran Desai walked away with the coveted prize. Sure, many will argue that the judges decision, when it comes to book prizes, especially one offering such a prestigious and diverse selection, is, to say the least, quite subjective, but it still holds much sway in literary circles and it's a great way for a lazy person like me to set-up a quickfire Christmas list.
Although I haven't read Indian-born Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, the storyline and location seems to have some things in common with another Indian-born writer Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things - dealing with death, depression, and village life (with all it's nuances and intricacies) in rural India. I loved Roy's novel and the opening chapter still sticks out as the most vividly described scene I've read so far and it's no wonder she won the Booker prize in 1999. Desai also comments on globalisation whilst Roy is a strong social activist in India and commentator on the country's nuclear policies and the effect on rural villages which large scale hydroelectric power schemes have and will continue to have unless re-evaluated.
You can check out the short-list for the prize here. South African Nadime Gordimer's Get A Life was nominated for the long list but didn't make the short one.