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Arundhati Roy could become first Indian citizen to win Booker

Arundhati Roy Arundhati Roy, author of the celebrated The God of Small Things could well become the first Indian citizen to win the Booker Prize, after having been shortlisted for the Commonwealth's most prestigious literary award.

The West Indian-born V S Naipaul and Salman Rushdie -- born in Bombay, but a British citizen -- have also won the award.

Since its release in India on April 5, the book has created waves in international literary circles, selling more than 350,000 copies. It has been or is being translated into 22 different languages, including all the European languages, besides Japanese and Korean.

The book has featured on bestseller lists in virtually every country where it has been released and was on London's The Sunday Times bestseller list continuously for the past 15 weeks. It was at the top of the list for three weeks.

It is now one of the six books shortlisted for the Booker Prize which could multiply sales besides accentuate global media attention. The award will fetch 20,000 pounds, but can generate business twenty times over. The award will be announced on October 14 in London.

The novel is also rapidly acquiring cult status which is evident from the critical response all over. American novelist John Updike called it ''a Tiger Woodsian debut'' in his review in the New Yorker.

In the United States, the book has been on The New York Times bestseller list for the last five weeks -- perhaps the only other book by an Indian to figure on the NYT list after Rushdie's Satanic Verses.

In Germany, where the translated edition was launched last month, the book has been selling 3,000 copies a day. In Norway, 70,000 copies have been sold. In India, it has been a bestseller many times over, selling close to 30,000 hardback copies in less than six months.

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