London-based Indian writer Kishwar Desai has won UK’s prestigious Costa First Novel Award 2010 for her book Witness by Night, which addresses issues like unwanted girl child, gender prejudice and bias and men-women equality.
“Kishwar Desai pulls off a remarkable trick, transplanting a country house murder to modern-day India in a book that is not afraid to tackle serious themes,” the judge trio of Anita Rani, Anneka Rice and Mark Thornton said of the book by the wife of House of Lords member Meghnad Desai.
“We were thrilled and exhilarated by this stunning debut. Just like her feisty main character, Desai has fearlessly blown the lid on the problems that simmer under the surface of modern-day India,” the judges said in a statement.
The Costa Book Awards are one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognise books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
The awards have five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book.
The winners in each category will receive USD 8000 at a ceremony in central London on January 25.