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Vikas Swarup writes another novel

books Updated: Jun 01, 2012 11:06 IST

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Diplomat Vikas Swarup, whose novel "Q&A" was adapted into the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire", has worked on another Bollywoodish social thriller in which a young woman gets the chance to run a billionaire's company provided she passes a series of seven tests.

"My new novel is also a 'social thriller' but different from 'Q&A' in the sense that the protagonist is a woman. Moreover, she is definitely middle class compared to the underclass in Q&A," Swarup, currently the Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe, Japan, told PTI.

He says the format of his new book "The Seven Tests of Sapna Sinha" may look similar to "Q&A" because "this is also a high concept character driven story which also seeks to capture the Zeitgeist of our times".

The book is being published by Simon & Schuster which has also signed another big name in the world of international publishing Shauna Singh Baldwin.

"My real strength is in telling a story and that is what I have done in 'The Seven Tests of Sapna Sinha' - told a story, hopefully a gripping, suspenseful and entertaining one," Swarup says of his new novel which is set in contemporary India.

Its narrator is a young woman, Sapna Sinha, who out of the blue is offered, by the eccentric billionaire, the chance to run his company, provided she passes a series of seven tests.

According to the publisher, "The Seven Tests of Sapna Sinha" can be described as a female version of "Q&A", a fantastical work of Bollywood story-telling, where there is a logic to the most improbable twists in the lives of a wonderful cast of characters against an Indian background that comes roaring to life which tell a fantastic story full of the sights and smells and contrasts of New Delhi, with a central character you are rooting for from the start.

On the other hand, "The Selector of Souls" is a richly imagined and fierce new novel by award-winning author Baldwin. Set in India, it begins with a scene that is terrifying, harrowing and yet strangely tender: we're in the mid-ranges of the Himalayas as a young woman gives birth to her third child, a baby girl, and the act that follows ? the huge sacrifice made by Damini, the baby's grandmother, out of love for her daughter ? haunts the novel.