05 August, 2021

Kishwar Desai

Her thriller Witness the Night wins the Costa First Book Award, a prestigious UK literary prize

Kishwar Desai

Most first-time novelists aspire to write literary fiction, but you wrote a thriller?

I wanted to tell a story. That’s how it came out.

I hear you dashed it out in 15 days?

It took me 40 days, actually. I became obsessed with it and couldn’t get up till it was done.

What made you pick a dark subject like female foeticide?

I had worked in Punjab and heard these stories. It made me angry that no one took it seriously.

Did your book have any impact on the issue?

In the UK, it did. I was called to many book clubs to discuss foeticide and how to stop it.

Was your feisty female character inspired by Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

I haven’t read Larsson. Simran is an amalgamation of many women I know—a chain-smoking, whisky-swigging social worker who isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

How many books are you going to write with Simran as the...

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