From The Guardian:
Kiran Desai’s Booker-winning novel The Inheritance of Loss has been a bestseller in India for weeks now. It is displayed proudly in upmarket bookshops. Bootleg copies are brandished by boys, weaving in and out of traffic light fumes. These boys can’t read, but they know what everyone wants: “Kiran book”.
The Inheritance of Loss is largely based in India, where Desai lived until she was 14. She now lives in America, making her the latest in a line of very successful non-resident Indian (NRI, in the customary acronym) writers. Although India basks in the limelight of such NRIs as Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth, their ability to portray India from abroad has been questioned. Another NRI, Vikram Chandra writes about being hounded by a Delhi English professor for his use of Hindi words. Now Kiran Desai’s “Indianess” has been scrutinized by the Indian media.
“There’s been a fair bit of chatter about why she italicised Hindi words and didn’t wear a sari to the prize-giving, whether she pandered too much to a western audience.”