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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Why Vikas Swarup won’t write a sequel to Q & A, which inspired Slumdog Millionaire

Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, on being hard-pressed for time, and why he won’t be writing a sequel to his book that was made into the Dev Patel-Anil Kapoor starrer Slumdog Millionaire.

books Updated: Aug 28, 2017 19:15 IST

Press Trust of India
Vikas Swarup is currently the Indian High Commissioner to Canada.
Vikas Swarup is currently the Indian High Commissioner to Canada.(Photo courtesy:

The past few years have been quite hectic for Vikas Swarup to conceptualise a new book but the seasoned diplomat-author is averse to rehashing old characters or writing a sequel to his popular Q&A , which was adapted into the multiple Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. But Swarup hopes that Canada, where he is currently posted, will inspire him eventually.

Diplomatic obligations have overshadowed the writer in him, says the Indian High Commissioner to Canada. “But then I have always been a diplomat who writes, not the other way round,” he says.

After his debut novel Q&A, Swarup has written two more books: Six Suspects (2008) and The Accidental Apprentice (2013).


“I haven’t written anything since my last book The Accidental Apprentice came out in 2013. My posting in Delhi was quite hectic and there was no question of trying to conceptualise a book while handling the pressures of being official spokesperson of MEA,” Swarup says. “I’ve been in Canada for just over five months and I have been quite busy here as well,” he says.

According to Swarup, he is focusing exclusively on developing India-Canada relations at the moment. “But I’m hoping Canada will inspire me eventually. It’s a very large and beautiful country.”

But he has no plans to pen a sequel to Q&A. “I don’t really believe in sequels,” says Swarup. “As long as I have original material, why rehash old characters?”

He is also keen on attempting a non-fiction work on Indian diplomacy, saying, “I don’t think it will sell as well as my novels which are entirely based on fiction.”

He may have little time to write, but the author-diplomat has found some time to read. He is reading books on the history of Canada, and currently Plutocrats by Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist who is now Canada’s foreign minister.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 19:06 IST