Kiran Desai

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Kiran Desai
Desai at PEN Gala, 5 May 2015
Desai at PEN Gala, 5 May 2015
Born (1971-09-03) 3 September 1971 (age 51)
New Delhi, India
Alma materColumbia University
Notable works
Notable awardsMan Booker Prize
RelativesAnita Desai (mother)

Kiran Desai (born 3 September 1971) is an Indian author. Her novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize[1] and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.[2] In January 2015, The Economic Times listed her as one of 20 "most influential" global Indian women.[3]

Early and personal life[edit]

Kiran Desai is the daughter of novelist Anita Desai. Kiran was born in Delhi, then spent the early years of her life in Punjab and Mumbai. She studied at Cathedral and John Connon School. She left India at 14, and she and her mother lived in England for a year before moving to the United States.

Kiran Desai studied creative writing at Bennington College, Hollins University, and Columbia University.[4]


Desai's first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, was published in 1998 and received accolades from figures as Salman Rushdie.[5] It won the Betty Trask Award,[6] a prize given by the Society of Authors for best new novels by citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations under the age of 35.[7]

Her second book, The Inheritance of Loss, (2006) was widely praised by critics throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. It won the 2006 Man Booker Prize, as well as the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.[2] Desai became the youngest-ever woman to win the Booker Prize at the age of 35 (this was later broken by Eleanor Catton in 2013).[8]

In August 2008, Desai was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme hosted by Michael Berkeley on BBC Radio 3.[9] In May 2007 she was the featured author at the inaugural Asia House Festival of Cold Literature.

Desai was awarded a 2013 Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin.

Desai lives in New York City. She stated in 2017 that she had been working for over a decade on a new book "about power… about a young Indian woman out in India and the world", which was slated to be out the following year. The novel has not been released; as of 2021, Desai has published no books since her Booker Prize-winning second novel in 2006.[10]


  • Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Faber and Faber. 1998. ISBN 0-571-19336-6.
  • The Inheritance of Loss. Hamish Hamilton Ltd. 2006. ISBN 0-241-14348-9.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kiran Desai". The Man Booker Prizes. The Booker Prize Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b Italie, Hillel (9 March 2007). "Desai's 'Inheritance' Wins Book Critics Circle Award". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Global Indian Women: Top 20 India-born & globally successful women from business and arts". The Economic Times. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Bold Type: Interview with Kiran Desai". Random House. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard". BookBrowse. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Society of Authors — Prizes, Grants and Awards". Society of Authors. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  7. ^ "The Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Facts & Figures | The Booker Prizes".
  9. ^ BBC – Radio 3 – Private Passions
  10. ^ Datta, Sudipta (5 February 2017). "Two alone, two together". The Hindu.

External links[edit]