Hari Kunzru’s second novel, Transmission, about a computer virus, Bollywood and California, is making waves already. The New York Times review called him “the entertaining Mr Kunzru” ala the talented Mr Ripley, though I can testify that he has far fewer homicidal tendencies. (The Daily Mirror conversely might argue that he’s pretty good at putting the boot in; they’ve gone off Kunzru a bit ever since he turned down a Mirror-sponsored prize on the grounds that the group was racist.)

Kunzru talks to the Guardian about the downside of being the “bloke who got the big advance” (for The Impressionist, his debut novel), and more interesting things: “I’m fascinated by the emergence of a global class. They’re highly mobile, they reject the idea of place. But even for the likes of Guy, who belongs to the elite, who is able to reap the benefits of globalisation, this has its dark side. There is a loss of contact with the local. Somewhere in the middle are the Arjuns; they’re skilled, they’re able to move around, even if it does involve a lot of effort. Finally, floating in the margins, are people who are almost invisible.They’re picking lettuces, and serving drinks.”


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