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The Cook, the Judge, his grandaughter and her lover

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Inheritance of Loss by Kiren DesaiThe Man Booker Prize is surely one of the most influential of literary awards but also one of the most controversial. On a good year, the panel of judges will line up six cracking good reads and generate lively debate about the merits and standards of contemporary writing. In a bad year they’ll give the prize to some utterly incomprehensible twaddle like John Banville’s stinker ‘The Sea’ and leave baffled readers switched off for another year. So which camp does Kiran Desai’s ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, the winner of the 2007 prize fall into? It is a readable classic or just another dust gatherer? For me it’s a definite thumbs up but given with the reservation that it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste.

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