A novel seven years in the writing made Kiran Desai both the then youngest winner of the prize and a daughter who went one better than her mother, Anita Desai, a three-time shortlistee.

Anita Desai left India at 14 for first England and then the United States where she studied creative writing. Fiction, however, was in her blood, with a celebrated novelist mother. As for The Inheritance of Loss, her second novel, ‘I wrote this book so much in my mother’s company,’ said the daughter, ‘it feels almost like her book.’

Desai’s career, however, is closer to that of another Indian winner, Arundhati Roy, in that she too has only written two novels. 

Kiran Desai
Published by
Hamish Hamilton
Kiran Desai won the Man Booker Prize in 2006 for this funny and politically acute family saga about a peaceful retirement under siege from all sides.

The Shortlist

The Inheritance of Loss
Prize winner
The Secret River
Carry Me Down
In the Country of Men
Mother's Milk
The Night Watch

The Longlist

The 2006 judges