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Kiran Desai Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Inheritance of Loss (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kiran Desai is a literary fiction author that was born in Chandigarh, India in 1971. She would then attend John Connon and Cathedral School in Mumbai for her school education.

In 1993, she graduated from Bennington College in Vermont with her bachelor’s degree. Later on, she went to the private Hollins University where she got a creative writing M.F.A.

Desai was born to a literary family as Ashvin Desai her father is a well-known author in India while Anita Desai her mother is a Professor of Humanities and novelist based at MIT.

In 1998, Kiran Desai published “Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard” her debut novel, which would go on to win the Betty Trask Award. For her novel, she would make the list of the youngest ever females to ever win the prize.

But it would be with the publication of the novel “The Inheritance of Loss” that she would really come into her own. For the latter novel, she was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award and the Man Booker Prize in 2006.

Unfortunately, Kiran Desai’s parents separated when she was sixteen and it was at this point that she immigrated to the United States with her. Initially, she had been studying at a convent school in India where the family had a summer home.
In the United States, she went to an Amherst, Massachusetts-based high school. At first, she enrolled in scientific studies at Bennington College but soon after decided to take writing classes.

It was while she was doing the writing program at Hollins College that she started writing her debut novel “Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard.” In an interview, Kiran said that it took her seven years to finish writing her novel “Inheritance in Loss.”
She isolated herself from the world for years only for more than ten publishing houses to reject it. She was almost giving up but after seven years of hard work, she decided to trudge on.

It was finally accepted for publishing by Hamish Hamilton in 2007 and would go on to become a bestseller.

Kiran Desai was lucky enough to get her debut novel published just as she was graduating from Columbia University with her creative writing master’s degree.

Since that time, she has become a critically acclaimed author that has received praise from the likes of Salman Rushdie. Writing has now become an integral part of Kiran Desai’s life and she uses her experiences in the penning of her novels.
She usually works in the morning, has a break in the afternoon, and then resumes writing in the evening. She sometimes will take a few days off when she does not have deadlines. So far it has worked great for her as she has become a bestselling author.

Kiran has said that it has not all been her as she has been influenced and inspired by other writers. Some of her favorite authors include Kenzaburo Oe, Ichiguru, Narayan, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Her all-time favorite work has to be Juan Rulfo’s, “Pedro Paramo.” She has also been influenced by American authors such as Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, and Truman Capote.

Kiran Desai currently makes her home in the United States and is in a relationship with Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter, and academic.

Kiran Desai’s novel “The Inheritance of Loss” is set in Shahkot, India, where the Chawla family could not have been more distressed.

Sampath their son has been causing all manner of trouble. Still, this work starts with the kid getting born, just as the village is coming from the tail end of one of the worst droughts in history.

Kulfi his mother half maddened by hunger and heat is only thinking of food. Her dreams of eating had only grown more extravagant the more her belly grew. Things had only gotten hotter over the months and she had grown desperate for some change.
Finding an old box full of crayons she began drawing which caused her mother-in-law and husband to retreat from her presence as they feared that she was going insane.

Mr. Chawla her husband has always been uncomfortable with lethargy, tears, pains, and aches. He has for the longest time been afraid of the sticky humanness of things, and the messy and uncontrollable puddles of life.
His discomfort with such things will come back to haunt him when his son becomes a young man ruled by emotion and has very little ambition or common sense.

His frustration comes to a head when the son loses his job at the post office following an embarrassing stip tease performance at his boss’s daughter’s wedding.

Refusing to be confined to the house, Sampath runs away and hides in the branches of a guava tree in the outer suburbs. But this flight would turn out to have a very profitable silver lining for his father.

“Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard” is the stunning second work by Kiran Desai that is set in India during the 1980s. It is a time when the Nepalese people have been agitating for an independent state.

A retired Cambridge-educated judge named Jemubhai Popatlal makes his home in Kalimpong which overlooks the Himalayas. He lives there with only Sai his orphaned granddaughter and their cook.

Most of their neighbors who are Anglophiles seem to be oblivious to their social standing until the area is hit by a surge of unrest. The retired judge with his English biscuits and his hunting rifles is soon a target of the violent mobs.
The revolution not only threatens their lives but also interrupts the steamy fledgling romance between Sai the sixteen-year-old and Gyan her Nepalese tutor.

On the other hand, is Biju the cook’s son who left Nepal a few years past, and news of his miserable state in New York has been filtering back home.

All the characters have been struggling with the forces of modernization and their cultural identity. They do this even as they try to maintain the flimsy emotional connections they have with each other.

It makes for an illuminating work that showcases the overwhelming desire for a better life and the ambiguities inherent in post-colonialism.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kiran Desai

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