So, Kiran Desai won the Booker. She is the daughter, the Times reports, of Anita Desai, who has herself been shortlisted for the prize on three occasions.
The Times also tells us that Kiran is currently a student on the Columbia University creative-writing course. That course is not without its critics, as we noted here in April.
If you want to read a digest version of the winning novel, plus all the other shortlisted books, you can find one in yesterday's Guardian (link from booktrade.info). But don't make the mistake of thinking that you're reading the real thing -- it's all a bit on the ho ho ho side. That said, the Night Watch precis gives quite a good flavour of the book, and it's a lot quicker to read. It's also just about as rewarding.
Nic Bottomley, elsewhere in the Guardian, says that a Booker prize is a badge of readability. This would be the joke of the week but for the fact that he obviously means it. However, since dear old Nic recently opened yet another bookshop in Bath, he is clearly an eccentric. Not to mention an optimist.
As for me, I think I said all I want to say about the Booker in January 2005, in my post entitled 'The Booker Prize and absolute nonsense'.