Rana Dasgupta [ United Kingdom, India ]
Rana Dasgupta was born in 1971 to an English mother and an Indian father in Canterbury, Great Britain. He studied French Literature and Media Studies in England and the USA and went on to work for some years as a PR manager. His texts concentrate on issues of home and homelessness as well as rootedness and motion in a globalised world: »If there is actually anything like romance as a theme in my work, then it's the romance of motion.« His début novel, »Tokyo Cancelled« (2005), which has been described as a modern version of »The Canterbury Tales«, is about the experience of natural forces and globalisation. Thirteen passengers are caught overnight in transit when their flight is delayed and pass the time by sharing stories of their homes. These stories resemble modern fairy tales, and are occasionally mythical or surreal, mirroring the lifestyles of millionaires, film stars, guest workers and illegal immigrants in the 21st century. They are told from the perspective of a centenarian Bulgarian who is seeking an answer to the question of whether or not everybody carries certain hidden knowledge in them which could be of use to the world. While Ulrich, who has lived through the century of ideological experiments, sits blind in his high-rise apartment in Sofia, in daydreams he confronts the political and private pressures which have shaped his life and creates for himself a new life, different, fast and colourful, in which his talents and creativity can unfold. The characters' two lives are vibrantly told, bustling with lively figures and unusual stories, with myths and historical reminiscences. »The Guardian« wrote of it: »›Solo‹ is an utterly unforgettable novel, a many-voiced symphony of human nature.«
Rana Dasgupta won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for »Solo« in 2010. He lives in France and Malaysia and works as a freelance writer in New Delhi.