After Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize with God of Small Things, Indian publishing houses were inundated with manuscripts from hopeful authors–many clearly people who were seeing writing, for the first time, as a potentially respectable, potentially lucrative profession. You could “be a writer” just as you could be a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer. A lot of this article was puzzling to me, especially the gratuitous swipe at the Orange Prize, but this bit should sound familiar to readers from India:

“The Nigerian reaction to all these has been predictable, but still disappointing. For instance, an unprecedented wave of interest has been woken up outside of the literary circles here (and even within them) with the sudden link between creative writing and the winning of prizes by Nigerians, everyone wants to be a writer now, just as every young woman over five feet has been clamouring to become a model from the moment Oluchi was set to sign a one hundred and fifty thousand dollar modelling deal after winning the extinct Face of Africa contest.”