Watch out Amis, McEwan and all the other big shots! Mr. Dhaliwal is here.
Curious to know who this challenger is? In fact, I too became curious when I read about this London-based guy called Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal. I first read about him in Outlook. The magazine carried the news that Random House is setting shop in India, and it will start it off with a bang: Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown, Mark Tully's provisionally titled The Certainty of Uncertainty and a debut novel by UK-based writer Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal.
Beaten by my curiosity, I looked for Dhaliwal in google and pronto I learnt that his first novel, Tourism, will be published by Vintage next spring. Dhaliwal has also penned a fiery piece in The Times. Here's a sample:
"The truly talented members of Britain’s ethnic minorities don’t want meaningless baubles for work that doesn’t deserve attention; they want to make it in the big league, competing with everyone else. By allocating prizes according to race there’s a danger that not only will true talent be marginalised but also that mediocrity will be rewarded. The woolly sentimentalism of London’s literati made them laud a writer as unremarkable as Zadie Smith to the skies; the same thinking must be why the BBC repeatedly commissions The Kumars at No 42. I cringe whenever I watch that junk, hoping the public doesn’t think that all Asians are as naff and unfunny as they are."
He has even issued a challenge to the literary bigwigs of UK. Savour this:
"I’ve written a novel myself; when it is published next year, I want it to cut the real mustard, not the sentimental treacle of the establishment. I don’t want the marginal recognition that might come with winning the Decibel; I want to go toe-to-toe with Whitey. I want to compete with Amis, McEwan and all the other big shots. And I don’t want a helping hand from anyone."
Packs a punch, right?
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