In India you get up in the morning and there are ten people there to greet you and to discuss how you slept. Or you can call up someone and tell them how you’re feeling and what you dreamt about.”

You miss out on knowing one culture profoundly and deeply and this does mean you’re an outsider to some degree in both places. You are leaving and you’re constantly on the plane – and your perspective does change. Every time I go back, things have changed and I haven’t seen the process.”

When I wake up in India I’m always so aware of the birds, and all the morning sounds. Over here, you wake up to total silence. Silence and emptiness. In India the air is full of the sounds of life. Here I feel I have to create it – you have to put on your music in the morning to get the feeling of something going on around you. In India – it’s all there for you: your identity is there for you, your life is there for you, your community is there for you. Over here, everything is what you do yourself. It’s a lot of pressure, I suppose!”

I hope I’ll go back to writing, because I think the way I live, travelling in between places, writing really was my home

– Kiran Desai , Man Booker 2006