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December 3, 2001
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Rohinton Mistry's book makes it to Oprah Winfrey's Book Club

Ajit Jain in Toronto

Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance has become the first Canadian book to figure in Oprah Winfrey's Book Club.

Calling it 'one of the most exquisite and moving books I've ever read', Oprah said on Friday that a segment on A Fine Balance will be on her television show in early January.

"It does what I believe a book is supposed to do. It transports you and opens you to new world experiences," she was quoted as saying.

More than 750,000 paperback of this 1995 book running to 750 pages have been quickly printed to accommodate the anticipated rush on the title in North America alone.

Mistry's Canadian publishers McCelland & Stewart, and editor of his books Ellen Seligman are already celebrating.

The internationally acclaimed Indo-Canadian author from Bombay is naturally delighted. "One does not expect something of this sort to happen, especially when a book has been out as long as this one," he was quoted as saying.

Mistry is one celebrity who keeps a low profile and almost lives in isolation in the Brampton suburb in Toronto. He won't give his telephone number to anybody.

Though some authors are troubled by the appearance of Oprah's logo on their books, Mistry was unfazed.

"I have no qualms about that because I am well acquainted with logos, having had so many on my books in the past - the Governor-General's, the Giller Prize, the Booker Prize short-list," he said in his dry humour.

Canada's Indigo and Chapter book chain has announced a special window display of the book in all their stores across the country.

"His books have consistently been best sellers for us. He deserves to have worldwide recognition and I am hoping this will have that effect," said Indigo's spokeswoman Tracy Nesdoly.

Mistry's new novel Family Matters is due to be released in April in Canada and Britain. It will appear in the US early autumn.

Like A fine balance, this one too is about life in India.

Mistry's first critically acclaimed book was Such a Long Journey, which won three prestigious literary awards in 1991.

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