What happens after the Booker?
The wine has long gone, the applause has died, guest appearances on TV and radio wind down or at least change in nature (think Western Daily Press instead of The Times) – and then…..?? The romantic idealists among us would have the prize winning novelist retreat to some cottage in remote Scottish highland to work on their next best seller. Or maybe we imagine them descending into despair of ever finding another story as good.
Certainly no-one has ever managed to win the Booker accolade a second time though some did make it to the shortlist. P H Newby went on to write at least another 6 novels, some of which enjoyed moderate success; Salman Rushdie gained notoriety (and Booker shortlisting) with Satanic Verses while Hilary Mantel’s follow up to Wolf Hall is already predicted to be as mesmerising.
But theres been only silence from Arundhati Roy since she won the 1997 prize with her debut novel The God of Small Things. According to a recent interview with The Irish Times this isn’t a case however of a writer running out of inspiration or somehow never finding that magic key to repeat an earlier success. Instead she has turned her word skills in a totally different direction, using them to campaign against injustice in her native India.
You can read the article here: Irish Times 2012