Sunday, April 18, 2010

A successful novelist: the Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup

Vikas Swarup is one of the most famous Indian diplomat-writers, very well known for his two novels "Q & A" and "Six Suspects".
His first novel Q&A (published in 2005) is particularly famous because the film version of the book, titled ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, directed by Danny Boyle, has won more than 70 awards including four Golden Globes and 8 Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. The novel has also been adapted for a stage musical and a radio play.
The book "Q&A" (already translated in 42 languages) opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never read a newspaper or gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question. Ram takes us on an amazing review of his own history -- from the day he was found as a baby in the clothes donation box of a Delhi church to his employment by a faded Bollywood star to his adventure with a security-crazed Australian army colonel to his career as an overly creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal.
The second novel "Six supects" (2008) is a multi layered story about crime and corruption in modern day India and it is based on true life events. Vivek 'Vicky' Rai, the playboy son of Cabinet Minister is dead, killed at his farmhouse at a party he had thrown to celebrate his acquittal. Six guests are discovered with guns in their possession - and each one is equally likely to have pulled the trigger. Who are these six suspects? And what were they doing in the farmhouse that night?
Vikas Swarup was born in Allahabad (India) in a family of lawyers. After his schooling, Vikas attended Allahabad University and studied History, Psychology and Philosophy. After graduating with distinction, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986, motivated by an interest in international relations and a desire to explore different cultures. In his diplomatic career, Vikas has been posted to various countries such as Turkey (1987-1990), the United States (1993-1997) Ethiopia (1997-2000), the United Kingdom (2000-2003) and South Africa (2006-2009). Since August 2009, he is the Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe, Japan. He has written for TIME, The Guardian, The Telegraph (UK), Outlook magazine (India) and Liberation (France). Apart from reading, he enjoys listening to music and playing cricket, tennis and table tennis.
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