The world's latest literary sensation is Hari Kunzru, 32, former Associate Editor of UK magazine Wired and freelance journalist on technology, electronic music and art. His debut novel, The Impressionist, is hogging world-wide headlines for the record advance he was paid by his four publishers. Excerpts from an interview with Sheela Reddy:
Is your novel—about a half-English man who struggles to invent and reinvent himself—autobiographical?
Only in a very modified way—outwardly, there is very little resemblance between the central character and me, but the emotional course he runs is very similar.
Are you too, like your protagonist, semi-Indian?
My father, a Kashmiri Pandit, came to the UK in the 1960s. An orthopaedic surgeon, he used to work with the National Health Service. He met my mother who was then working as a nurse in the same hospital, and they married. She comes from a London-based middle-class family.
Was India an important part of your life when you were growing up?
I was born in London, but we used to...