In which we discover that the author of the Opal Mehta books (big bucks advance) wants to be an investment banker.
And Lavanya Sankaran, author of The Red Carpet (hailed, hallelujahed and blessed with the ritual advance plus inevitable comparison with Jhumpa Lahiri) is an investment banker.
I know. It’s a weak conspiracy theory. But it gives me something to say to hopeful authors seeking advice. “You want to be a writer? Go join Lehman Bros. Right now.”
Oh, and Sankaran has a neat sense of humour.
From ‘Alphabet Soup’:
“Later, Priya had written a few emails.
To her friends at the Tree Hugger’s Cafe, she wrote: I met some people our age in a social setting, and it was such a pleasure to see that they spanned the spectrum of India: punjabi, keralite, bengali, christian, muslim, brahmin, sitting together in a spirit of great communal accord and brotherhood.
She did not mention that this meeting had taken place in a coffeehouse that looked like an upmarket Starbucks, and that the women were dressed in tank tops and in skirts that ended mid-thigh; that the men had argued over the relative aesthetics of Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, and everybody seemed to be recovering from a hangover. That would be unnecessary local colour and would simply muddy the issue.”