Preti Taneja wins Desmond Elliott Prize
A sneak preview of Saturday's books pages
Desmond Elliott Prize winner Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young. Photograph: Louise Haywood-Schiefer/ Desmond Elliott Prize/PA
Preti Taneja has been awarded the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for her debut novel, We That Are Young. The work re-imagines Shakespeare’s King Lear, setting it in contemporary India. The novel takes the play’s central themes and juxtaposes them against the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India.
In her Irish Times review, Sarah Gilmartin called it “a remarkable picture of contemporary India”. “For a relatively new writer, she is a master of ambivalence... [T]he strong ethical sense to her writing is subtly incorporated in her novel through character and action.”
Taneja’s triumph is the second time Norwich-based publisher Galley Beggar Press has produced the winner of this prestigious award. Eimear McBride’s A Girl was a Half-Formed Thing won in 2014.
In Ticket tomorrow, Anna Carey has been reading round the clock to come up with a list of the 25 best summer reads; Martina Evans explores the deep family and research roots of her new poetry collection focused on the War of Indepdence and Civil War; while fellow poet David Wheatley tackles poetry in the age of Brexit; plus we have a host of reviews: Breandán Mac Suibhne on The Preacher and the Prelate: The Achill Mission Colony and the Battle for Souls in Famine Ireland by Patricia Byrne; Danny Denton on Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna; Fionnuala O Connor on Siobhan Fenton’s The Good Friday Agreement; Seán Hewitt on Good Trouble by Joseph O’Neill; Belinda McKeon on Days of Awe by AM Homes; Jonathan McAloon on The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh; Mia Gallagher on I Still Dream by James Smythe; Paul McVeigh on The Last Romeo by Justin Myers; Houman Barekat on The Tyranny of Lost Things by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett; Jane Urquart on Homesick Songs by Emma Hopper; Neil Hegarty on The Consolation of Maps by Thomas Bourke; Sarah Gilmartin on An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim; Julie Parsons on by Jeanette Winterson; and Sara Keating on the best new children’s titles.