Anita Desai

Anita Desai


Anita Desai was born in 1937; her father was Bengali and her mother German, and she was educated in Delhi. Her publihsed work includes Clear Light of Day, which was shortlisted for the 1980 Booker Prize, Fire on the Mountain, for which she won the Royal Society of Literature’s Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and the 1978 National Academy of Letters Award, In Custody, which was shortlisted for the 1984 Booker Prize, a volume of short stories, Games at Twilight, and Baumgartner’s Bombay, all of which are publihsed in Penguin. She has also written several books for children. She is a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. She was awarded the Neil Gunn International Fellowship for 1994. Anita Desai is married, has four children, and lives in India.

Anita Desai

Anita Desai



Name  Anita Desai

When were you born?  24th June 1937, Mussoorie IndiaWhat’s your favourite book? Different ones all the time. Just one single one? Hard to choose amongst so many – but perhaps To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

What’s your favourite film? ‘Pather Panchali’ by Satyajit Ray and ‘Seventh Seal’ by Bergman

What’s your favourite song? I really don’t have one   What’s your most treasured possession?  My house, I suppose

When did you start writing?When I learnt how to at age 7Where do your ideas and inspirations come from?One stumbles across them in places one knows or goes to, people one meets, experiences one has

My tips for becoming a successful author:Read, read, readLearn to be a good critic – of what you read and above all of what you write

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?  Allow me two, or three: Venice in Italy, Cambridge in England and a small hill town in the high desert of Mexico

What are your hobbies?  Working in my gardenIf you hadn’t been an author, what do you think you would have been?  I would be sad and have an empty life if I weren’t a writer

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