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