Dr Nikita Lalwani (FRSL)

Personal profile

Nikita Lalwani was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

Her work has been translated into sixteen languages. Her first novel, GIFTED  – the story of a child prodigy of Indian origin growing up in Wales – was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and won the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction. Her second, THE VILLAGE, was modelled on a real-life ‘prison village’ in northern India, and won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.

Her third novel, YOU PEOPLE ( Penguin UK, June 2020)  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: https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/32482/nikita-lalwani.html

Advance praise for YOU PEOPLE: 

'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 

'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

'Enthralling as a thriller, yet also a beautiful human drama, and a serious enquiry into the possibility of goodness' Tessa Hadley

Lalwani has contributed journalism and essays to the Guardian (UK), the New Statesman (UK), the Times (UK) and to a non-fiction anthology AIDS SUTRA, exploring the human stories around AIDS and HIV in India.

She has been a judge for the Rathbones Folio prize, the Orwell prize for political writing, the RSL Encore prize for second novels. She has appeared on HARD TALK (BBC), THE AGENDA (ITV), NOVELS THAT SHAPED THE WORLD (BBC2)  and WOMAN'S HOUR (BBC R4).

She works regularly with the human rights organisation LIBERTY.  


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