Against strong competition from Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Paula Cocozza’s How to Be Human, a retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear, set in modern-day India, took the coveted Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction this week.
Preti Taneja collects £10,000 for We That Are Young, a novel that, according to Outlook India,
explores themes of “King Lear” like severed relationships and warring families against the backdrop of the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India (following) a central cast of characters as they react to ageing patriarch Devraj’s decision to pass control of ‘the Company’ to his three daughters, Gargi, Radha and Sita.
From Delhi mansions to luxury hotels, from city slums to the streets of Kashmir, from palace to wayside, Taneja recasts an old tale in fresh, eviscerating prose that bursts with energy and fierce, beautifully measured rage.
Selected by a judging panel comprising author Sarah Perry, award-winning broadcaster Samira Ahmed, and Waterstones’ head of fiction and publisher liaison Chris White, We That Are Young was published by Penguin Random House India in October 2017.