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OUT OF INDIA THE BOOKER'S PRIZE NEOPHYTE

Indian literary critics on Wednesday hailed Arundhati Roy's Booker Prize, calling it a triumph of post-colonial writing as the country celebrates a half-century of independence.

Roy, who has received a record $1.6 million in advances worldwide for her debut novel, was assured of instant literary celebrity by landing the $31,300 Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things."

The 37-year-old author has also written film screenplays.

Babli Moitra Saraaf, an English language professor at Delhi University, applauded the award.

"She is an extremely good writer. Her use of language in all her works, including films, has been extraordinary. She has been one of the few people articulating the nascent idiom of the post-colonial generation in English."

Roy said after collecting her prize Tuesday that she might never write again. She burst into tears on receiving the award and told reporters afterward, "I don't know if I will write another book."

But her daughter Pia Krishen said the emotion of the moment may have affected her mother.

"She has these sudden ideas. She must have said that in a very emotional moment but I don't think she will do that. I am sure she will change her mind and write something" Krishen said.

"We were hoping that she would get (the Booker) but she would insist that it was her first book and that no author gets it for his first book."

Krishen said her mother was struggling for words when she called from London. "She was very flustered, the program had just finished and she was surrounded by the media, photographers and she sounded . . . maybe a little tired."

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