Kiran Desai Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971 and grew up there before moving to England, aged fourteen years. She was educated in India, England and the US. Her first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998) won a 1998 Betty Trask Award, and her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (2006), set in the mid 1980s in a Himalayan village, won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
She is the daughter of the noted Indian author Anita Desai, who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times herself.
Her first book was 1998’s Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, which won the Betty Trask Award.
Her Booker winner is her second novel and took almost eight years to write.
The novel is about an embittered old judge who lives in a crumbling house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas. He craves nothing more than to retire in peace.
The old judge’s reverie is disturbed by the arrival of his orphaned granddaughter and the son of his garrulous cook.
Desai, 35, said writing the book was “quite a frightening, emotional experience”.
She becomes the youngest ever female writer to win the prestigious prize.
The previous youngest woman winner was fellow Indian writer Arundhati Roy who won the prize in 1997 when just a month short of her 36th birthday.
The youngest ever winner was Ben Okri who landed the Booker in 1991 at the age of 32.