Jeet Thayil is the author of four collections of poetry. His debut novel, Narcopolis – was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize – tells of a group of outsiders caught up in an underworld of opiates, sex and violence in Bombay. Part biography of that city, the novel also takes a turn into China, which is another important chapter in the story of how opium shaped the landscape and the individual lives shrouded in its smoke. Here he talked to online editor Ted Hodgkinson about being shortlisted for the Booker, the images of Christ woven into the novel and an unexpected digression on Blade Runner.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil is published by Faber & Faber.
Photograph © Basso Cannarsa