May 26, 2008

Cricket and 9/11

Kanishkaa Balachandran

An Irish-born author, Joseph O'Neill, has written a novel set in New York City post 9/11 and the central theme which binds the novel is cricket. Titled Netherland - the name a pun on the main character's Dutch nationality - the book has been described as the 'wittiest, angriest, most exacting and most desolate work of fiction we've yet had about life in New York and London after the World Trade Centre fell'. The book was inspired by an encounter with a Pakistani seeking to build a cricket stadium in New York, 9/11 itself and O'Neill's own involvement in playing cricket in the city.

'When I told publishers that I was writing a novel about cricket in New York people just shook their heads and walked away. There was not so much a bidding war for it as a bidding peace. Only one publisher was interested.'

Read on in the Observer

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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