Kiran Desai is an Indian-born American writer who is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning author. She was born on 3rd September, 1971, in Chandigarh, India. The first book written by her, ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’, was released in 1998. She wrote her second book, ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, which went on to become a worldwide bestseller. She won acclaim across the globe for her two novels, ’Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard,’ which earned her the Betty Trask Award in 1998, and ’The Inheritance of Loss,’ which earned her the ’Booker Award’ in 2006. For her novels, she also received the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award. She is a remarkable woman who can view and understand life in various contexts.
Early Life and Family
Kiran Desai's early life was a mix of struggles and changes. When Kiran Desai's parents divorced, her mother moved to America with her. Kiran was 16 years old at the time. The first few years of Kiran's She Kiran initially enrolled at Bennington College in the United States to become a scientist, but she decided to focus on writing instead.
She studied at Hollins College in Virginia to further pursue her education. After completing the writing programme at Hollins College, she started working on her debut book, ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard.’
With regards to her education, Kiran Desai claimed that writing was her priority and that it occupied the majority of her life. She admitted that she had to struggle initially to maintain the writing habit that eventually allowed her to wake up and head right to her desk without giving it a second thought.
Kiran Desai, the novelist Anita Desai's daughter, lived in India until she was 15 years old, at which point her family relocated to England and later the United States. After completing her undergraduate studies at Bennington College in 1993, she went on to earn two MFAs, one from Columbia University in New York City and the other from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
At the same time as ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’ was published in 1998, Kiran Desai graduated from Columbia University in the United States with a master's degree in MFA in creative writing. She was also a professor at MIT.
Passion for Writing
Kiran's love for writing was insane. Her first novel took her four years to complete, and she claims, "I believe that everything I cherished about India and knew I would inevitably lose was captured in my first book. It was also a work that was mostly inspired by my joy at finding how much I enjoyed writing." The thought that was put in the novel talks so much about her connection with the country and a deep resonance of belongingness.
Her family supported her work in the best way possible. Kiran claims that her father and siblings had a significant impact on her work. A Booker Award was predicted by her father, she said in an interview. She expressed that she met her father before leaving for the award ceremony in New York, and her father affirmed the same thing again to her. She explained what happened.
Her Work as a Writer
In the contemporary world, one of the well-known female writers is Kiran Desai (1971–present).
When Kiran Desai's book 'The Inheritance of Loss,' which was published in 2006, won the Man Booker Prize, she gained immediate notoriety. The characters in the story are the citizens of a town in the north eastern Himalayas.
After completing her studies, she took a two-year break before writing her first book, ’Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard,’ which was released in 1998 by Faber and Faber.
She received the Betty Trask Award for her debut book, making her one of the youngest female authors in history to do so. The Society of Authors bestows the Betty Trask Award on authors under the age of 35 for their best new books. Established in 1884, the Society of Authors is a trade union award for professional authors, illustrators and literary translators in the United Kingdom.
The American Academy in Berlin, Germany, presented Kiran Desai with the ’Berlin Prize Fellowship’ in 2013. It was announced in January 2015 that Kiran Desai was one of the 20 ’most influential’ Indian women in the world, according to The Economic Times.
Famous Novels and Books
Kiran Desai, the daughter of author Anita Desai, is a natural storyteller, as one might anticipate given the varied influences of her cultural upbringing.
Her debut book, ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’ (1998), is a fast-paced, look at life in the Indian province of Shahkot, a quiet hamlet.
In terms of scope and depth of feeling, ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ is significantly more ambitious than the first novel. It addresses important issues including fundamentalism, alienation, globalisation, racial, social and economic inequality, as well as morality and justice. It sends the reader on a rollercoaster of unfavourable feelings.
Among Kiran Desai's hits is Generation 1.5, a collaboration with Suketu Mehta and Tom Finkelpearl.
In addition to receiving the Man Booker Award for her book ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ in 2006, Kiran also received the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award the same year.
The book has been included on the shortlists for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year. She won the Betty Trask Award for her first book, ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard.’
How She is a Source of Inspiration?
Kiran Desai is an inspiration in herself. She teaches the deep meaning behind writing. Writing is not only words but has lots of feelings and hidden meanings in it. She had a lengthy history of being identified as the gifted child of renowned author Anita Desai. ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’, Kiran Desai's debut novel, was widely praised upon its publication in 1998 and even received the Betty Trask Award from the Society of Authors, a British organisation. However, it was her second novel, ‘The Inheritance of Loss,’ which was released in 2006 that brought her to the attention of the world. Both the Man Booker Prize and the Best Fiction Award from the National Book Critics Circle were given to it that year.
Kiran Desai is a true patriot. Desai, who resides in the US, passionately flaunts her Indian heritage. Her own experiences and what she has observed in the world around her have had a significant impact on her.
Her diverse upbringing has given her a fairly international outlook with an underlying Indian sensibility. In her books, Kiran employs the techniques of magic realism and socio-cultural realism. All these reflect how purely Kiran Desai can inspire one.
For what is Kiran Desai well-known?
‘The Inheritance of Loss’ (2006), the second book by Kiran Desai, an Indian-born American author who was born in New Delhi, India, on September 3, 1971, became a bestseller internationally and garnered awards.
Where and when was Kiran Desai born?
Kiran Desai was born on 3rd September in the year 1971 in Chandigarh.
From where did Kiran Desai do her schooling?
Kiran attended school in Massachusetts and pursued studies in creative writing at Columbia University, Hollins University in Virginia, and Bennington College in the United States.
Which literary prize did ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ by Kiran Desai take home?
This humorous and politically astute family drama about a serene retirement under threat from all sides by Kiran Desai earned her the Man Booker Prize in 2006.
Which Award did she receive for her debut book?
Kiran Desai received The Betty Trask Award for her debut book.