With a great feature article in yesterday's Washington Post and an even better interview on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi radio show today, Vikram Chandra is really making the rounds with his new novel Sacred Games. Much of the attention has focused on his $1 million dollar advance, how long it took him to write the novel and his ties to other authors from India.
I'm normally a little dubious when someone gets that much money for anything, but in this case it just might be deserved. Chandra's a great writer and he's digging into a subject (gangs, pimps and the criminal underworld of Bombay, India) that's important and has any number of potentials for fiction. That and I am happy to see someone who's not a pop-author make some big money for their hard work.
For those who don't know, Chandra played a great part in the writing scene here in D.C. for almost a decade. Aside from teaching fiction writing at GWU he periodically ran some readings around town focusing on differnent types of fiction. I never met Chandra myself, but Miss L took a class from him while she was at GWU for undergrad and she still mentions things she learned from him. He also had a reputation around town as an incredibly friendly and generous person.
For any in the D.C. area who knew him or his writing and want to say hello, Chandra will be reading tonight at Politics and Prose at 7 pm.