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Monica Ali: I was daunted by using Princess Diana as inspiration

5th January 2011

Monica Ali has admitted that it was 'daunting' to write a what-if novel inspired by Princess Diana.

The 43-year-old, who was shortlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Fiction with her debut Brick Lane, told the Daily Mail that the protagonist of her new novel Untold Story is based on Diana and imagines what her life would have been like if the fatal crash in Paris had never occurred.

Claiming that the novel is a 'homage' to the princess, Ali said that it was worrying to base a character on one of the world's most famous women, but added: 'When I started researching the book, though, I was fascinated by how she broke all the boundaries, how supremely iconoclastic she was, and I had to carry on writing.'

The novelist also said that despite the work's premise and setting, it essentially deals with the same theme as her previous books - namely 'what makes a person who they are'.

Ali lost out on winning the 2003 Man Booker Prize to D.B.C. Pierre, who took home the honour with Vernon God Little.
 

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