24 September, 2020

'I Wish More Writers Would Fight For A Big Advance'

The author, whose sequel to his popular novel has got him a record advance, reportedly around Rs 14 crore, on almost everything under the sun but the actual writing

Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis
'I Wish More Writers Would Fight For A Big Advance'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Vikram Seth’s announcement last week of a sequel to his popular novel A Suitable Boy, came as a shot in the arm for the publishing industry plunged into its worst-ever crisis. Penguin grabbed the English language rights (except in the US) for a record advance, reportedly around Rs 14 crore. Lying lazily in bed in his heritage country house in UK, the literary superstar talks with Sheela Reddy about almost everything under the sun but the actual writing.

You are the first Indian writer to have got, and continue to get, a big advance, in a way professionalising writing, making it possible to earn a living from it without resorting to a day job?

I never thought that would happen. If you look at my first two novels—The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy—no one would have thought they would get a decent advance—and of course, The Golden Gate didn’t. That (money) was never my initial motivation. But I am very grateful that it actually gives me the time to concentrate on writing and other things...

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