Do you think the post-Arundhati anxiety to bankroll Indian writing hurt its growth?
No. They may not have worked, but I think it’s nice those books made money and got an opportunity in the west. I never begrudge any writer money or platform. But a much more interesting consequence of Arundhati’s success has been its impact on writing in England. Take Monica Ali. Or even writers from Africa and the Caribbean. It may sound far-fetched, but we are hearing a wider range of voices. The publishing industry has become more open minded as a consequence of Arundhati. Can you identify what western publishers are looking for? I wish there was a formula. Often, books by women, that’s one thing. But the stories are getting more complicated. In a way, Kiran’s is a second-generation story. There is a huge change going on in literary sensibility. Writers from places like South Africa and Kenya now have different stories to tell. Not just describe the nation? No, they are free from political constraints, the constraint to be Kenyan. They are just writers. There’s so much mobility now,