Nikita Lalwani's first novel GIFTED was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. It has been translated into 16 languages. In June 2008 Nikita Lalwani won the Desmond Elliot Prize for New Fiction, which she donated to human rights organisation Liberty.

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    REVIEWS FOR GIFTED ( Viking UK 2007)

    ‘Five Stars *****Lalwani wrings both pathos and comedy out of the power struggles conducted by people who love one other. The three central characters are vividly real – solid, flawed, appealing, despicable, admirable, pitiable, clever, foolish. One turns the pages not so much for the plot as to become better acquainted with these people – and to savour the well-crafted, literary prose.’ Brandon Robshaw 5-star review Independent on Sunday, (UK) 2008

    ‘Compelling, heart-wrenching, and laced with redemptive hope. Lalwani’s touching, funny, finely calibrated novel brings [things] alive with urgency and poignancy… and in doing so becomes a paean to a vanished childhood.’ Soumya Bhattacharya, The Observer (UK) 

    ‘Subtle, comic, heart-breaking, Lalwani’s first novel brims with insight on education and migration, but even more on parents and children. The climax, in Oxford, will stand comparison with Hardy’s Jude.’ Boyd Tonkin, Books, The Independent (UK) 

    ‘The measurements of the world become brilliantly, fascinatingly known through mathematics, but Lalwani’s characters struggle to comprehend the boundaries of their own lives, which are unstable for the teenage Rumi as well as her parents, who have been uprooted from the familiar geography of their native India… Lalwani compellingly depicts the pain and pleasure of breaking the rules.’ Anita Sethi, New Statesman (UK) 

    ‘Lalwani’s evocation of teenage dislocation is pitch-perfect and she inhabits her heroine’s interior world with tender authority. The generational clash between Rumi and her parents – captured with precision and empathy – derives from the fact that her ethnicity and her genius make her special and therefore she stands out, yet she wants to be just like everyone else.’ Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian (UK) 

    ‘Superb.. brilliantly realised. The searing narrative is unflinchingly and tenderly written, in every sense of the word tender.’  Stevie Davies, Author, Independent (UK) 

    ‘Lalwani’s singular achievement is that she touches our souls without pedantic moralising or exhortative homiletics. Rumi’s parents are believable monsters, they lurk in all of us. The spunky, captivating Rumika—gifted without doubt but adorably ordinary at the same time—is also someone we have sighted and sighed over, in ourselves or in our children. And Lalwani is certainly a gifted writer, Booker or not.’ Brinda Bose, India Today (India)

    ‘Arresting..[a] coming of age story full of the mingled love and anger that animate families of every culture.’

    Ron Charles, The Washington Post (USA)

    ‘Lalwani has a talent for pacing and surprise, and her novel is a page-turner… [She] infuses all her characters with humanity, and that makes Gifted a layered and nuanced story about the choices a family (immigrant or not) makes for a gifted child.’ Kathryn Masterson, Chicago Tribune (USA) 

    ‘Gifted is full of stunning descriptions of childhood. Lalwani subtly renders the movements of Rumi’s brightly perceptive inner consciousness by tinting the world in mathematical hues, endowing even apparently simple sights with an almost magical scientific beauty.’ Scarlett Baron, Oxonian Review (UK)