Lalwani’s serious, ravishing way of writing about the secret life of Britain is just what we need.”
Times (UK)

Lalwani has a knack for close observation of people: their mannerisms and motivations, the way they relate to each other in different situations. This makes for potent storytelling. The prose itself floats the story into a plane of effervescence with rich imagery.Seattle Times

Nikita Lalwani was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. She is a novelist and screenwriter.  Her work has been translated into sixteen languages.

Lalwani’s first book, GIFTED, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.  The Radio 4 adaptation of the novel won a Mental Health Media award. Lalwani was also nominated as Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. You can read an excerpt of the novel in the Guardian (UK) here. GIFTED won the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction. Lalwani donated the prize to human rights campaigners, Liberty and works regularly with the organisation. She is developing the novel for television and attached as the writer.

Lalwani’s second book, THE VILLAGE, was modelled on a real-life ‘prison village’ in northern India, and won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered award. A feature film script of the novel, written by Lalwani is currently in development. You can see her talk about the book here.

Her third novel, YOU PEOPLE ( Penguin UK, June 2020, McSweeneys USA , May 2021)  revolves around a London restaurant and its enigmatic proprietor, a man known for offering under-the-counter loans, legal aid and safe passage to those in need. YOU PEOPLE has been optioned for television by World productions, creators of ‘In the Line of Duty’ and ‘The Bodyguard’ with Lalwani attached as screenwriter. You can read an extract from the novel here and you can order  YOU PEOPLE here in the UK and here in the USA.

You can hear Lalwani talking about the book on Front Row (7:34), BBC Radio 4 and on The Arts Hour (41:17), BBC World Service.  You can see her talking about YOU PEOPLE here and on Sky Arts Book Club.

Lalwani is currently working on script development for projects with Ray Pictures, Warp Films and Little Door productions. She has contributed to the Guardian (UK), the New Statesman and The Observer (UK). She has also written for AIDS Sutra, an anthology exploring the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in India. You can read her essay, ‘Mister X versus Hospital Y’ here. She has appeared on the ITV politics show The  Agenda and BBC’s Hard Talk.

Lalwani has been a judge for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the RSL Encore Second Novel Prize and The Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing.  She lives in North London.

Praise for YOU PEOPLE:

“This is a moving, authentic, humane novel which raises fundamental questions about what it means to be kind in an unkind world, and it will stay with me for a long time.”
Guardian (UK)

“”Fiction is not a blueprint, but it can be a gilded mirror, or a four-dimensional map. Living, loving, dying — “You People” is an elegant work of all three.” Seattle Times

“(R)avishing, insightful prose..(written with) great skill and empathic heart… Nikita Lalwani’s magical novel invites us to ponder generosity and human kindness.” – Bookpage

“A startlingly original, continuously astute, and deeply compassionate novel. You People alerts us, in these dark times, to the possibility of human nobility.”
Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger

“(S)urges with passion, intrigue, and a rigorous eye toward British immigration policy.”
Publishers Weekly

“(C)ompact yet powerful… this timely and adept novel deserves wide readership.”

“A lively, poetically written and above all compassionate book.”
Sunday Times

“A female lead who isn’t defined by a romantic story arc? Yes please. Lalwani’s serious, ravishing way of writing about the secret life of Britain is just what we need.”
Times (UK)

You People is a short, complex novel that shines a light behind the smiles at your local restaurant, and asks tough questions about the nature of goodness in an unfair society.”
Sunday Telegraph (Book of the Week)

“Intelligent and heart-piercing―an exceptional novel about the Britain we live in, even if we choose not to see it.”
Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

“An opening onto a vivid world, whole in itself, not like anything else, fascinating, and so beautifully done, with fresh, alive perceptions and reactions, a tenderness towards people.”
Tessa Hadley, author of Late in the Day

“Timely and hopeful.”

“Lalwani’s vivid, intensely empathic novel raises profound moral questions while maintaining the momentum and urgency of a thriller.”
The Lady

“Beautiful and brilliant. The exquisite writing is vivid, poetic and perceptive; the characters alive and compelling. Everything I want from a novel. I loved it.”
Stephen Merchant, co-creator of The Office

“This sinuous morality tale unfolds from alternating perspectives… there are worlds within worlds in this metropolis… Ms Lalwani’s prose has a balletic lightness.”
Economist (UK)

“Lalwani leaves us with a lingering sense of extraordinary lives and events, in an utterly ordinary setting.”
Financial Times

“Lalwani’s language is rich and sonorous, interwoven with vivid images that convey the depth of her characters’ lives and emotions with arrest- ing clarity.”
Irish Times

Nikita Lalwani’s novel insists on the morality of people who often seem invisible. This sinuous morality tale unfolds from alternating perspectives… there are worlds within worlds in this metropolis… Ms Lalwani’s prose has a balletic lightness. Economist (UK)


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