Kiran Desai (3 September 1971) is an Indian author. She won the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award and the Man Booker Prize for The Inheritance of Loss in 2006. The Economic Times named her one of the 20 most influential Indian women in the world in January 2015.

Early Life

Kiran Desai was born on 3 September 1971, in New Delhi, India. She’s the daughter of Anita Desai, a novelist. Kiran was born in Delhi and grew up in Punjab and Mumbai. She went to Cathedral School and John Connon School.

She grew up in India until she was 15 years old, then her family moved to England and then to the United States. She graduated from Bennington College in 1993 and got her M.F.A.s from Columbia University and Hollins University.


She made her mark in the literary world in 1997 when she was published in the New Yorker and one of her stories Strange Happenings in the Guava Orchard appeared in Mirrorwork, a collection of 50 years of Indian writing edited by Salman Rushdie.


‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’ was Kiran Desai’s first novel, published in 1998, and received rave reviews and praise from writers like Salman Rushdie. Basically, the story is about a guy living under a guava tree in a guava orchard to avoid adult responsibilities. The novel won the Betty Trask award, given by the Society of Authors for commendable new writing by Commonwealth nation citizens under 35.

‘The Inheritance of Loss’ is Desai’s second book, published eight years later in 2006, and was praised by critics across Asia, Europe, and the United States. Inheritance of Loss tells the story of Biju, a young illegal immigrant living in the US trying to make a living, and Sai, a little girl raised by her grandfather, a retired judge. Globalization, terrorism, and immigration are all explored in depth in The Inheritance of Loss. In 2006, she became the youngest woman to win the Booker Prize for the novel.


In 2006, She won the Man Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.


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