|Education||NSS College, Ottappalam, Kerala
Virginia Center for Creative Arts, USA
|Alma mater||NSS College, Ottappalam, Kerala
Virginia Center for Creative Arts, USA
|Known for||Indian Writing in English 
Anita Nair is a popular Indian English-language writer. Nair was born at Shornur in the state of Kerala. A bestselling author of fiction and poetry, Nair's novels The Better Man and Ladies Coupe have been translated into 21 languages. Nair was educated in Chennai (Madras) before returning to Kerala, where she gained a BA in English Language and Literature. Nair was working as the creative director of an advertising agency in Bangalore when she wrote her first book, a collection of short stories called Satyr of the Subway, which she sold to Har-Anand Press. The book won her a fellowship from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Nair's second book was published by Penguin India, and was the first book by an Indian author to be published by Picador USA. Nair's books have been published in several languages around the world. Nair lives in Bangalore. Among Nair's early commercial works were pieces she penned in the late 90's for The Bangalore Monthly magazine (now called "080" Magazine), published by Explocity in a column titled 'The Economical Epicurean'.
Thereafter followed Nair's novel The Better Man (2000) which also has been published in Europe and the United States. In 2002, appeared the collection of poems Malabar Mind, and in 2003 Where the Rain is Born - Writings about Kerala which she has edited. Anita Nair's second novel Ladies Coupé from 2001, has turned out to be an even greater success than the first both among critics and readers in so far 15 countries outside India: from USA to Turkey, from Poland to Portugal. In 2002, "Ladies Coupé" was elected as one of the five best in India. The novel is about women's conditions in a male dominated society, told with great insight, solidarity and humour. Ladies Coupe (2001) was rated as one of 2002's top five books of the year and was translated into more than twenty-five languages around the world.
Nair has also written The Puffin Book of Myths and Legends (2004), a children's book on myths and legends. Nair has also edited Where the Rain is Born (2003). Nair's writings about Kerala and her poetry has been included in The Poetry India Collection and a British Council Poetry Workshop Anthology. Nair has also written a few other books, such as Mistress (2003), Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel (2006), Living Next Door to Alise (2007) and Magical Indian Myths (2008). Nair's works also include many travelogues. With the play Nine Faces of Being, best-selling author Anita Nair has become a playwright. The story, is adapted from Nair’s book Mistress
- 1 Bibliography
- 1.1 Novels
- 1.1.1 Cut Like Wound / 2012 / Novel
- 1.1.2 Lessons In Forgetting / 2010 / Novel
- 1.1.3 Mistress / 2005 / Novel
- 1.1.4 Ladies Coupé/ 2001 / Novel
- 1.1.5 The Better Man / 2000 / Novel
- 1.2 Myths Retold
- 1.3 Children's Writing
- 1.4 Poetry
- 1.5 Essays
- 1.6 Edited
- 1.1 Novels
- 2 Awards
- 3 Interviews
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Cut Like Wound / 2012 / Novel
It is the first night of Ramadan. At Shivaji Nagar in the heart of Bangalore, a young male prostitute is killed and burnt alive. It would have stayed as yet another unsolved murder, but for Inspector Borei Gowda, the investigating officer. As bodies begin to pile up one after the other, and it becomes clear that a serial killer is on the prowl, Gowda recognizes a pattern in the killings which no one else does. Even as he negotiates serious mid-life blues, problems with his wife and son, an affair with an ex-girlfriend, and official apathy and ridicule, the killer moves in for the next victim…
Steeped in the lanes and atmosphere of the city of Bangalore, Cut Like Wound introduces to the reader a host of unforgettable characters and is a brutal psychological thriller unlike any in Indian fiction. 
Lessons In Forgetting / 2010 / Novel
A beautifully told story of redemption, forgiveness and second chances.Through a series of coincidences, Meera and JAK find their lives turning and twisting together, with the unpredictability and sheer inevitability of a cyclone. And as the days pass, fresh beginnings appear where there seemed to be only endings.Crafted to echo the stages of a cyclone, Lessons in Forgetting is a heartwarming story of redemption, forgiveness and second chances.
Anita Nair talks about writing in urban India, the role of a corporate wife as explored in her latest book 'Lessons In Forgetting' and her forthcoming works- The Business World
This is Nair's fourth book and there is no doubt about one thing: she gets better with each one. … it's all there in the book: cyclones and catastrophes, man-made and wrought by nature; love, dependency and betrayal, female foeticide, Page Three parties. It's a story told at an unhurried pace by an accomplished writer.- The Hindu Literary Supplement
Review Anita Nair weaves her story with the consummate skill of a born story-teller with hard to forget nuggets. Never once does the interest of the reader falter. She completely reinvents story telling. Lessons In Forgetting is a story of real people in a real but far from perfect country, where female foeticide still happens with impunity. It is also a story of forgiveness redemption and second chances. It is a story that inspires moves, motivates and forces you to think all this even as it holds you spell bound.- Business world
Mistress / 2005 / Novel
When travel writer Christopher Stewart arrives at a riverside resort in Kerala to meet Koman, Radha's uncle and a famous kathakali dancer, he enters a world of masks and repressed emotions. From their first meeting, both Radha and her uncle are drawn to the enigmatic young man with his cello and his incessant questions about the past. The triangle quickly excludes Shyam, Radha's husband, who can only watch helplessly as she embraces Chris with a passion that he has never been able to draw from her. Also playing the role of observer-participant is Koman; his life story, as it unfolds, captures all the nuances and contradictions of the relationships being made—and unmade—in front of his eyes.
- Nair, the author of two previous novels, “Ladies Coupe” and “The Better Man,” has a talent for probing insular worlds. Much as she makes the closed realm of kathakali performers come alive, she paints a poignant picture of the segregated, cloistered Muslim village. - The Washington Post
- 'With her first two novels, the Better Man and Ladies Coupe, Anita Nair signalled the arrival of a sensitive writer who could delve deep into people's personalities and take the reader on a wonderful journey. With her latest book Mistress, she lives up to the promise of masterful story teller.....Some bonds grow and other break and in these intertwining relationships lies the beauty of Anita's saga.- The Times of India
- Kathakali lends the book its structure and grounds its even-handed, intense drama in a rich setting of myth and ritual; whether sketching Kerala's changing conditions, charting Radha's loveless marriage or describing the closed world of an Islamic village, Nair's third novel is consistently compelling. - The Guardian
Ladies Coupé/ 2001 / Novel
The story of a woman's search for strength and independence.Meet Akhilandeshwari, Akhila for short: forty-five and single, an income-tax clerk, and a woman who has never been allowed to live her own life - always the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the provider.Until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to the seaside town of Kanyakumari, gloriously alone for the first time in her life and determined to break free of all that her conservative Tamil Brahmin life has bound her to.In the intimate atmosphere of the ladies coupé which she shares with five other women, Akhila gets to know her fellow travellers.
- Evokes experience that are drawn from everyday life and across the social strata...suddenly it seemed to us their lives have attained epic dimensions. All this with insightful prose devoid of cluck-clucking or an impressionistic top-angle look at the plight of these women - The Times of India
- ...A brilliant evocation of sisterhood on the move...Nair's tale is light enough to relieve the tedium of a long journey and yet filled with the incantatory power to burn up tracks, to seek a new destination. To change.-India Today
- Her strength as a writer lies in bringing alive the everyday thoughts, desires and doubts - Times Literary Supplement London
- Nair is a powerful writer: all of these stories are intense and replete with cultural detail. …Nair has created what must be one of the most important feminist novels to come out of South Asia - The Daily Telegraph, UK
- These women's life stories give an insight into expectations of married Indian women, the choices they make and the choices made for them. Anita Nair's story-telling is superb and each woman could easily spawn a novel of her own. …There is a strong message of hope through change and even the ending is revealed as another beginning. Enticing and uplifting. -Punch
The Better Man / 2000 / Novel
In Anita Nair's first novel, middle-aged bachelor Mukundan returns to his native Indian village and is haunted by the past. Determined to conquer old ghosts, Mukundan decides to restore his childhood home and hires One-Screw-Loose Bhasi, an outcast painter, to oversee the renovations. A practitioner of a unique style of healing, Bhasi sets about mending his troubled friend, but the durability of Mukundan's transformation into a better man is soon called into question. 
- A genial, meandering tale… Charming - New York Times Sunday Book Review
- A tone of wistful melancholy and incidents both droll and poignant characterize this first novel…her strength lies in gentle, keenly observed comedy. Overall a warmly affecting depiction… - - Kirkus Reviews
- Anita Nair is a fine writer with a great sense of character vivid knowledge of South Indian culture and an eye for telling detail. She can move from tender compassion to sensuality to raging hatred and is a compelling teller of stories. - The Hindu Literary Supplement
- Imposing debut: Nair's got a style and a future…Rich in local color…explored in fluid prose. Anita Nair has proved her mettle by fathoming the deepest recesses of man's psyche… - India Today
Puffin Book of World Myths and Legends / 2004 / Mythology
These are just some of the fantastic and magical myths and legends from all over the world-Africa to Japan and Thailand to Alaska-that have been brought together in this collection. Charming and simple, yet profound in their wisdom, the stories encompass a diverse range. Some recount unforgettable tales of love and adventure, of dutiful sons and scheming gods, of enchanted lands and giant serpents. Others tell us how the world was created, why the sun and the moon never meet each other though they live in the same sky, how clouds appeared to save mankind from the sun's scorching rays, and why living creatures shed tears when they are in pain.
More information on Puffin Book of World Myths and Legends
Magical Indian Myths / 2008 / Mythology
Fifty myths from India recounted in this fabulously produced book. From wise sages to demonic asuras, beautiful river deities to arrogant kings, wayward gods to brave princes, this collection showcases the most enchanting and magical stories from Indian mythology. With over 100 stunning full-colour illustrations, this book will not only bring alive a fantastic world of gods and demons, it will also be a loved and treasured possession to be enjoyed for many years.
More information/ reviews/ articles on Magical Indian Myths
- Fortunate is the child who receives this beautiful book as a new year present. The stories are simply told, though never patronising in tone, and are short enough to be read at one go by the young reader, or to be read about to children without taxing the patience of the adult reader or the attention span of the little listener. The book contains 50 tales from Indian myths, and at under Rs 10 a myth, is very good going indeed.-India Today
- Coming after the rollicking Living Next Door to Alise about a boy Siddharth and a baby elephant, Magical Indian Myths is pure magic. Children apart, you too could up your mythology quotient. Nair has written another book on a similar subject: The Puffin Book of World Myths and Legends.-Mint, Hindustan Times
- Magical Indian Myths, a collection of 50 myths belonging to Indian culture, knows exactly how to tell a myth, making it an exceptionally successful book in its genre and ‘a must have book’ for your child’s collection. It possesses all the qualities that make myth telling fascinating. Firstly, the 50 myths in the collection are very well selected.Secondly, the narration is simply fabulous. The stories are well told. They are short, crisp and clear and do not weave confusing yarns as mythological literature can at times do.-Parenting
Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel / 2007 / Children's writing
The Squirrel family must move to a new neighbourhood, and Nonus not happy. But soon he discovers that his new home can be fun. With his new friend Nicole, and his brand new skateboard, Nonu is all set to have many adventures.
Nonus vibrant world, brought to life by bestselling novelist Anita Nair and accompanied by Vinita Chands striking illustrations, will enthral children of all ages.
More information on Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel
Living Next Door To Alise - Children's Novel / 2006 / Children's writing
A rollicking story of friendship and bravery, Living Next Door to Alise will have you laughing out loud and waiting for a friend like Alise to move in next door!
More information on Living Next Door To Alise
Malabar Mind / 1997 / Poetry
In Malabar Mind, Anita Nair's debut collection of poems, the real and corporeal, landscapes and mindscapes are explored with a rare fluid ease. From the quirky symbol of toddy shops in Malabar - a full bottle of toddy crowned with a red hibiscus - to the stressed drone of television newscasters during war time; from the apathy of non-stick frying pans to the quiet content of cows chewing cud, Anita Nair rakes through the everyday, seizing an unusual moment. And then she turns them into metaphors that cast a glow, suffusing ordinary things with extraordinary dimensions, capturing the strength and resilience of life…
- From marmalade mornings, sun dried memories, cow-like grey clouds to the shy raindrop - her new medium of thought takes you to another plane, where words paint pictures and fantasy takes wing. The mundane business of living takes on a fresh perspective in her hands, stringing lust, hope, anguish, joys in its wake.-The Times of India
- Anita Nair's first book of poems Malabar Mind is impossible to get away from.- The Hindu
- Anita has a remarkable body language of variegated repetitions which comes through well as a narrative even in very short poems giving a local habitation and a name to passing thoughts. - The Sunday Herald
Goodnight & God Bless/ 2008 / Essays
A sparkling collection of literary essays, each one a bedtime rumination, Goodnight and God Bless is about books, writers, book events, mice, mothers,airport hotels, the wind and other such unexpectedly thought-provoking subjects, snugly interwoven with a warmly personal and anecdotal history of the author and her assorted family members.
More information on Goodnight & God Bless
- Informed by a gentle literary sensibility, Nair’s Goodnight and God Bless (elegantly produced in hardback by Penguin-Viking) is a collection of 42 short, personal essays that, whether talking about gardening, travel, strange hotel rooms, parenting, food, literary friendships, or pets, evokes a book-haunted life…. This is the writer as reader. She can’t speak or judge any longer from a reader’s innocence. Yet the desire persists. To simply, as Salinger once asked of us, “to read and run.” Nair’s new book of non-fiction carries with it the added pleasure of “footnotes, quotes and other such literary diversions”.- The Hindu Literary Review
- It’s a collection of essays presented as chapters in a book by and about the author. She’ll tell you about the many flavours of her happiness… You’ll get tips on which books to read, how to differentiate between gourmets and gourmands, how to enjoy being a celebrity-author… There are voluminous footnotes, a recommended reading list at the end and even a couple of tiny shocks to remind us that life isn’t all fresh laundry and double beds….- Outlook Magazine
Where the rain is born - Writings about Kerala / 2003 / Edited Anthology
An anthology of leading writings, bringing together perspectives on society, politics, culture—includes Arundhati Roy, Ramachandra Guha, OV Vijayan,VaikomMuhammad Basheer, Kamala Das, Shashi Warrier, Shashi Tharoor and many others.
More on Where the rain is born
- MISTRESS was named a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award in the U.S.A.
- MISTRESS was nominated a finalist for LiBeraturpreis 2007 in Germany.
- MISTRESS was on the Orange Prize long list in the UK.
- FLO FICCI Women Achievers Award in 2008 for Literature
Interviews - Video
- Out for Lunch - Anita Nair - EPI 8 - 1(3) - NDTV HINDU
- Out for Lunch - Anita Nair - EPI 8 - 2(3) - NDTV HINDU
- Out for Lunch - Anita Nair - EPI 8 - 3(3) - NDTV HINDU
- Anita Nair - LETTERATURE 9° Festival Internazionale di Roma 2010
- Anita Nair in Conversation : 26 parts
Interviews - Audio
Interviews - Print
- culturebase.net. "Anita Nair artist portrait". culturebase.net. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- "Interview from Kerala.com". Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- My Secret Life: Anita Nair
- Anita Nair Biography
- "Language in India". Language in India. 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Author Anita Nair's story taking shape on stage
- "Cut Like Wound". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "http://us.macmillan.com/thelilachouse/AnitaNair". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Lessons in Forgetting at the Internet Movie Database
- "Lessons in Forgetting Synopsis". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Reviews for Lessons in Forgetting".
- More information/ reviews/ Lessons In Forgetting
- "Mistress- Synopsis and awards". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Reviews for Mistress". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Ladies Coupe Synopsis". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Praise for Ladies Coupe". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "The Better Man synopsis". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- The better Man- NY Times "Reviews for The Better Man". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Puffin Book of World Myths and Legends
- Magical Indian Myths
- Magical Indian Myths-India Today
- Magical Indian Myths-Hindustan Times
- Magical Indian Myths-Parenting
- Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel
- Living Next Door To Alise
- Malabar Mind
- Malabar Mind-The Times of India
- Malabar Mind- The Hindu
- Malabar Mind- The Sunday Herald
- Goodnight & God Bless
- Goodnight & God Bless- The Hindu Literary Review
- Goodnight & God Bless - Outlook Magazine
- Where the rain is born - Writings about Kerala
- "Kerala Interviews,Interview of the week". Kerala.com. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
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