You can’t fault our newspaper supplements for not trying, even after years of asking authors such questions as “So, what is your novel all about?” and “So, how does it feel to write a book?” and (in cases where the brain cells of the journo conducting the interview sparked very briefly before going out) “But how can you say it is not autobiographical when it is written in first-person?”. Today's HT City has a Q&A with Mohsin Hamid where the opening question is:
Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip are top favourites [for the Booker]. Can you give them a fight?
To which Mohsin (no doubt biting his knuckles hard to keep from guffawing) replies:
"It’s not like cricket where I can bowl a really fast one and dismiss Mister Pip."
Game, set and match to Hamid. Oh wait, wrong sport.