After Miguel’s book Ilustrado was shortlisted, he had told the Guardian that making it to the shortlist was “like someone coming into my dark room and throwing open the curtains.” That seemed like a perfect simile to me—writing is a solitary act, with insecurity and self-doubt our closest companions, and the room does seem terribly dark sometimes. This prize ensures that the curtains will always remain open on Miguel’s work, and I’m delighted for him.
Miguel and I had exchanged emails after we got longlisted for the prize, and we promised to send each other signed and inscribed copies of our books. Now I can’t wait!
And when will My Friend, Sancho be on the shelves? I’m going to Delhi this Sunday to meet all the publishers who have made me offers, and finalize a deal. Whoever I sign with, the release date is likely to be around the end of April 2009. I’ll announce it here within a week.