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Kiran Desai's Biography

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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai won the 2006 Booker Prize.

Natasha Walter In The Guardian described The Inheritance of Loss as " ... an ambitious novel that reaches into the lives of the middle class and the very poor; an exuberantly written novel that mixes colloquial and more literary styles; and yet it communicates nothing so much as how impossible it is to live a big, ambitious, exuberant life."

Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss was also one of six books shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Kiran Desai was born in India in September 1971, and was educated in India, England and the US.

Kiran Desai's parents separated and she left India at 14 and went with her mother to Cambridge.

Her mother, Anita Desai, has been shortlisted for the Booker prize three times. Often they live in the same house. Anita Desai told The Guardian: "She works upstairs and I work downstairs. It's a very good arrangement."

Kiran Desai's first book was Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, which won the Betty Trask Award.

The Inheritance of Loss is Desai's second novel. Unusually for a Booker shortlisted author, let alone Booker Prize winner, Kiran Desai is a student of creative writing (at Columbia University).

Like Philip Roth and Jane Smiley, Kiran Desai went to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, but she told the BBC about her decision to leave:

"In the end it somehow felt that writing for group approval and producing something every 30 days produced sanitised writing ... Writing a novel doesn't fit that kind of profile. It's a messy process. So I started writing much like my mother."

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