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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 October 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Booker winner's mother avoids result
By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

The mother of Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai still does not know about her daughter's award because she fled to northern India to avoid the result.

Anita Desai was too nervous for her daughter and did not want to hear the news, so went to stay in a small village without radio, television or telephone.

Kiran Desai
It took Kiran Desai seven years to finish writing the book
"I think the Indian papers may have the news by now but I still can't find her, she doesn't have a phone," said Desai, who won the prize for her novel The Inheritance of Loss.

Anita Desai has herself been nominated for the Booker Prize three times but has never won.

Kiran Desai dedicated the book to her mother for all the support she has offered over the years.

When asked what her mother would think of the news, Desai said: "She'll be so pleased, she'll be delighted."

Feel lucky

She refused to be drawn on whether this award made her a more successful novelist than her mother.

This book in many ways feels as much hers as it does mine. She really worked with me a lot on it
Kiran Desai, who dedicated her novel to her mother

"Well it doesn't really feel like an accomplishment exactly, feels like luck," she said.

"And it feels very strange, even more strange because she helped me so, so much with this book. This book in many ways feels as much hers as it does mine. She really worked with me a lot on it."

Anita was the first person to read the novel once it was finished, and also offered emotional support.

"I certainly had her editing advice. She was the only person I think who could really understand what I was trying to do," said Kiran Desai.

Slow writer

"I think everyone else around me after seven years just thought, 'this is a complete disgrace you should just give up and get a job and be responsible, so yes I had her on my side'."

The 35-year-old, the youngest female to win the award, is hoping to start work on another book soon.

"I hope I'll go back to writing, because I think the way I live, travelling in between places, writing really was my home, I feel very disorientated not having a book to work on."

The author, who spent Tuesday night celebrating her win, is not yet sure what the 50,000 prize money will be spent on.

"I'm such a slow writer that it's really wonderful to have the money."






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