New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Preti Taneja has won the prestigious Desmond Elliott Prize given for the best debut novel in English published in the UK for her retelling of Shakespeare's "King Lear" set in modern-day India.
Taneja took home the 10,000 pounds prize for novel "We That Are Young" beating fellow shortlisted authors, Gail Honeyman ("Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine") and Paula Cocozza ("How to Be Human").
"We That Are Young" explores themes of "King Lear" like severed relationships and warring families against the backdrop of the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India.
It follows a central cast of characters as they react to ageing patriarch Devraj's decision to pass control of 'the Company' to his three daughters, Gargi, Radha and Sita.
From Delhi mansions to luxury hotels, from city slums to the streets of Kashmir, from palace to wayside, Taneja recasts an old tale in fresh, eviscerating prose that bursts with energy and fierce, beautifully measured rage.
The novel was chosen by a judging panel chaired by author Sarah Perry and having award-winning broadcaster Samira Ahmed and Waterstones' head of fiction and publisher liaison Chris White as its other members.
Perry said the jury members were "absolutely unanimous in our love and admiration for this novel, whose scope, ambition, skill and wisdom was, quite simply, awe-inspiring".
Chairman of the Prize's Trustees, Dallas Manderson, said "We That Are Young" is exactly the kind of novel that the Desmond Elliott Prize exists to discover and promote.
"This extraordinarily accomplished debut has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, not having received the attention and widespread acclaim that it so rightly deserves. Our hope is that winning the Prize will help guarantee Preti's long-term future as an author, as we're sure it will be bright,” he said.
"We That Are Young" was published by Penguin Random House India under Hamish Hamilton in October 2017.
"Penguin Random House India publishes the classic writers I grew up reading, the nonfiction I drew on while I was writing my book, and the most brilliant, avant-garde fiction of today. We That Are Young has found its home: I could not be more delighted," said Taneja.
"In 'We That Are Young', Preti Taneja's words leap off the page, constantly juggling family dynamics, workplace power struggles and India's grand economic and political transition, bringing them all into a singular, compelling narrative," said Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief (Literary Publishing) at Penguin Random House India.
Before trying her hand at fiction writing, Taneja was a human rights correspondent and reported on Iraq and in Jordan, Rwanda, and Kosovo. She was born in the UK to Indian parents.
The Desmond Elliott Prize is given to a debut novel from any genre, published between April 1 of a year and March 31 of the next year in the name of acclaimed publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI