Kiran Desai

Easton Press Kiran Desai books

The Inheritance of Loss - signed modern classic - 2010


Kiran Desai biography

Kiran Desai, born on September 3, 1971, is an Indian author acclaimed for her insightful storytelling and rich narrative style. She hails from a literary family, as her mother is the well-known author Anita Desai. Kiran spent her early years in India before moving to England at the age of 14. Her multicultural background and exposure to diverse environments greatly influenced her perspective and eventually found expression in her writing. Desai's literary journey gained momentum with the publication of her debut novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, in 1998. The novel, which blends humor and social commentary, explores the eccentric life of a young man who retreats to a guava orchard to escape the complexities of urban existence. While not an immediate commercial success, the novel garnered critical acclaim and hinted at the promise of Desai's storytelling prowess. However, it was her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss, published in 2006, that catapulted Kiran Desai into the international literary spotlight. The novel, set in both India and the United States, intricately weaves together the lives of characters grappling with issues of identity, displacement, and the consequences of political turmoil. "The Inheritance of Loss" won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006, bringing Desai widespread recognition and accolades.

Kiran Desai's writing is characterized by its poetic prose and the exploration of complex themes such as globalization, cultural clashes, and the impact of historical events on individuals. Her work has been lauded for its depth, sensitivity, and the ability to capture the nuances of human experience. Despite the significant gap between her first and second novels, Kiran Desai's impact on contemporary literature is undeniable. Her contributions have not only earned her literary awards but have also inspired readers and fellow writers alike. Beyond her novels, Desai has written essays and articles on a variety of topics, showcasing her versatility as a writer and intellectual.

Kiran Desai continues to be an influential figure in the world of literature, leaving an indelible mark with her unique voice and storytelling prowess. Her work resonates with readers seeking narratives that explore the complexities of human relationships and the ever-evolving dynamics of a globalized world.


The Inheritance of Loss

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize: An “extraordinary” novel “lit by a moral intelligence at once fierce and tender” ( The New York Times Book Review ).

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

When a Nepalese insurgency threatens Sai’s new-sprung romance with her tutor, the household descends into chaos. The cook witnesses India’s hierarchy being overturned and discarded. The judge revisits his past and his role in Sai and Biju’s intertwining lives. In a grasping world of colliding interests and conflicting desires, every moment holds out the possibility for hope or betrayal.
Published to extraordinary acclaim, The Inheritance of Loss heralds Kiran Desai as one of our most insightful novelists. She illuminates the pain of exile and the ambiguities of postcolonialism with a tapestry of colorful characters and “uncannily beautiful” prose ( O: The Oprah Magazine ).
“A book about tradition and modernity, the past and the future and about the surprising ways both amusing and sorrowful, in which they all connect.” - The Independent


The Inheritance of Loss is Kiran Desai's extraordinary Man Booker Prize winning novel. High in the Himalayas sits a dilapidated mansion, home to three people, each dreaming of another time. The judge, broken by a world too messy for justice, is haunted by his past. His orphan granddaughter has fallen in love with her handsome tutor, despite their different backgrounds and ideals. The cook's heart is with his son, who is working in a New York restaurant, mingling with an underclass from all over the globe as he seeks somewhere to call home. Around the house swirl the forces of revolution and change. Civil unrest is making itself felt, stirring up inner conflicts as powerful as those dividing the community, pitting the past against the present, nationalism against love, a small place against the troubles of a big world. 'A Magnificent novel of humane breadth and wisdom, comic tenderness and political acuteness' Hermione Lee, chair of the Man Booker Prize judges 'Poised, elegant and assured . . . breaks out into extraordinary beauty' The Times 'Desai's bold, original voice, and her ability to deal in a grand narratives with a deft comic touch that affectionately recalls some of the masters of Indian fiction, makes hers a novel to reread and remembered' Independent Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971, was educated in India, England and the United States, and now lives in New York. She is the author of Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, which was published to unanimous acclaim in over twenty-two countries, and The Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Book Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.

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