Earlier this month, Rana Dasgupta won the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize for his novel Solo. We are delighted by this – we published an extract of Solo in The Reader 33 – Dasgupta, it would seem, is less pleased.
In an article written in today’s Guardian, Dasgupta has confessed that he found his victory “very depressing”:
“I had loads of people emailing me, asking ‘Can I post this to the discussion?’,” he says. “A lot of people were immensely irate about the whole thing – I was amazed by the passion it raised. I was mostly saying ‘Please don’t post anything’.” A user with the postername John Self posted an invitation Dasgupta had sent via Facebook for friends to come and vote on the Not the Booker thread, and at that point “anything that was said about my book was a conspiracy,” Dasgupta continues, “and people were saying that I was behind it all.” It reached a point where Dasgupta felt there was “no way of arguing with any of this”, and posted on the thread himself to withdraw from the competition.