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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Being on this list means something.

You've arrived, you've been noticed, this could well be your year of flying, speaking, being feted, toasted and being whisked away from your desk for a year of lectures, talks, lit fests, seminars - you get the picture. It's the literary red carpet roll.

It would have most people jumping for joy, announcing it to the world, popping the bubbly because making it to the long list is cause for celebration.

Which is possibly why, Tan Twan Eng shocks me with his modesty. In a one line mail that arrived early this morning, all he tells me is : "Just to share with you - I'm on the Booker Prize Longlist for 2007." I'm over the moon. I was introduced to him by Sharon Bakar. After several email exchanges, the interview almost didn't happen as he waited to hear from me and I from him. And then when the dates were sorted out, he organised his own trip, his accommodation and did a couple of interviews. We spent time talking about his writing process, how he couldn't share too much of his writing while he was working on it, his debut, his characters and what took him to South Africa. He'd dealt with rejection with his manuscript, yet he'd taken it in his stride and he hoped his book would resonate with readers. Having made this cut is proof enough that it has and I am delighted for him.

Just as I am to see Mohsin Hamid on the list as well.

The Guardian tells us about all the big names that have been cast aside in what Waterstone's dubbed 'a giant-felling list.'

All I'll say is, it offers hope to fresh new voices in the literary sphere. Congratulations all....

The long list is:
- Tan Twan Eng 'The Gift Of Rain'
- Mohsin Hamid 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'
- Nikita Lalwani 'Gifted'
- Indra Sinha 'Animal's People'
- Nicola Barker 'Darkmans'
- Edward Docx 'Self Help'
- Anne Enright 'The Gathering'
- Peter Ho Davies 'The Welsh Girl'
- Lloyd Jones 'Mister Pip'
- Ian McEwan 'On Chesil Beach'
- Catherine O'Flynn 'What Was Lost'
- Michael Redhill 'Consolation'
- AN Wilson 'Winnie & Wolf'

The short list will be announced on September 6th and the winner on October 16th.

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