Prize-winning author Kiran Desai at GIPCAThe Famous Idea Trading Company
Booker Prize-winning author Kiran Desai will feature as part GIPCA’s Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series in Cape Town on 20 September.
Kiran Desai will do a reading of her work, followed by a discussion, as part of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series. The event is presented in association with the UCT Centre for Creative Writing as part of Open Book Cape Town, and takes place on Thursday 20 September 2012.
Kiran Desai, daughter of author Anita Desai, was born in India and attended Bennington College, Hollins University and Columbia University, where she studied creative writing.
Even before winning the Booker Prize, Desai has been a writer central to international literature. She first came to literary attention in 1997 when she was published in the New Yorker and Mirrorwork, in an anthology of 50 years of Indian writing, edited by Salman Rushdie. In 1998, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard – a pacy, fresh look at life in the provincial town of Shahkot in India and simultaneous study of the pathos of familial misunderstanding, hero-worship, the unpredictability of commercialism and the ineptness of officialdom – was published to critical acclaim. She says, "I think my first book was filled with all that I loved most about India and knew I was in the inevitable process of losing. It was also very much a book that came from the happiness of realising how much I loved to write."
Eight years later, The Inheritance of Loss – set in the mid-1980s in a Himalayan village – was published, taking on subjects such as morality and justice, globalisation, racial, social and economic inequality, fundamentalism and alienation. It was awarded the coveted 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the 2007 National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award, and shortlisted for several other international awards. When talking of the characters in The Inheritance of Loss, and of her own life, Desai says, "The characters of my story are entirely fictional, but these journeys (of her grandparents) as well as my own provided insight into what it means to travel between East and West and it is this I wanted to capture. The fact that I live this particular life is no accident. It was my inheritance."
This event will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town on Thursday 20 September 2012 at 17:30 and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00. No Booking is necessary. For more information on the Great Texts / Big Questions series, please contact 021 480 7156 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Kiran Desai at Open Book Cape Town:
20 September 17:30 – 18:30, Hiddingh Hall, GIPCA Great Texts/Big Questions
23 September 16:00 – 17:00, Fugard Studio, Alan Hollinghurst, Kiran Desai and Lionel Shriver talk about their lives as writers.
Kiran Desai Awards:
2007 Orange Prize for Fiction, The Inheritance of Loss, shortlist
2007 National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (USA), The Inheritance of Loss
2007 Kiryiama Pacific Rim Book Prize, The Inheritance of Loss, shortlist
2007 British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year, The Inheritance of Loss, shortlist
2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, The Inheritance of Loss
1998 Betty Trask Award, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
About GIPCA: The University of Cape Town’s Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) facilitates new collaborative and interdisciplinary creative research projects in the disciplines of Music, Dance, Fine Art, Drama, Creative Writing, Film and Media Studies. Interdisciplinarity is a key theme of the institute and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration and dialogue with urbanism and community. GIPCA was launched in December 2008 with a substantial grant from Sir Donald Gordon, founder of Liberty Life. An Advisory Board comprising Heads of Departments of all Performing and Creative Arts Departments at UCT helps to shape contexts for the instigation and development of projects by students and staff, as well as a wide range of institutions and individuals outside the university. For more information on the 2012 GIPCA programme, visit www.gipca.uct.ac.za, or phone 021 480 7156.
GIPCA Director: Associate Professor Jay Pather
GIPCA Project Manager: Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton
Chair of the GIPCA Board: Professor Paula Ensor
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Hiddingh Hall, UCT's Hiddingh campus, Cape Town Western Cape South Africa