WITNESS THE NIGHT listed for DSC Prize for the South Asian Literature 2012


Kishwar Desai's award-winning debut novel, WITNESS THE NIGHT, has been longlisted for the DSC Prize for the South Asian Literature 2012 which seeks to showcase the diverse ethnicity, culture and human stories from the region.

The prize carries a purse of $50,000 (Rs.23.8 lakh) and the shortlist will be announced Oct 24 in London with the winner being announced January 2012.

Other books to make the list include 'Jimmy, the Terrorist' by Omair Ahmed, 'Bharatipura' by U.R. Ananthamurthy, 'A Street in Srinagar' by Chandrakanta and 'Day Scholar' by Siddhartha Chowdhury.

WITNESS THE NIGHT is published in the UK by Beautiful Books and is sold in: India (HarperCollins); China (Beijing Jiban); Finland (Like); Germany (Goldmann ltb); India (Full Circle [Hindi]); Italy (Il Saggiatore); Hungary (Nouvion); Poland (Zwierciadlo) and Portugal (ASA). The sequel, BABY LOVE, is due to be published at the beginning of 2012.

More detail on the prize can be found here.


Longlisted for Waverton Good Read 2011, Winner of Costa First Novel Award 2010, Longlisted for Man Asian Literary Prize 2009

'No 'next-best-thing' novel has been as literary, bold and compelling as WITNESS THE NIGHT... it is a taught, gripping and complex thriller with two enigmatic heroines at its core. Despite its dark subject, this is a pleasing read, boasting a complex plot made accessible by Desai's very direct voice and sumptuous prose. Desai has created rich characters and a thriller about women that speaks to all the sexes. Readers: if you liked Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, this is the book for your summer/autumn 2011. I dare you - woman, man, neither or both - not to love Witness The Night.' -- Abigail Tarttelin, Huffington Post

'Terrific' -- Toby Clements, The Telegraph

'A powerfully-felt, shocking and moving indictment of cruelty and oppression' -- Maggie Gee, author of THE WHITE FAMILY

'Social justice campaigner Desai's debut novel is very much an issue-based book, the issue being "gendercide" and, for those girls who survive birth, oppression in Indian society. Set in Punjab, Witness the Night begins when 14-year-old Durga is found beaten and tied to a bed inside a house which contains 13 butchered corpses. Social worker Simran Singh, independent and scandalously untraditional in her behaviour, is tasked with getting the mute and traumatised girl, who is suspected of murdering her relatives, to talk. Singh finds a web of deceit and corruption as she uncovers the way in which a family has sacrificed its female members in order to preserve status. There's a bit too much theorising, but this sad and thought-provoking tale is certainly worth the read.' -- Laura Wilson, The Guardian

'Very important themes [and a] very appealing central character.' -- Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour

'Essential reading.' -- Nihal, BBC Asian Network

'Kishwar Desai pulls off a remarkable trick, transplanting a country house murder to modern day India in a book that's not afraid to tackle serious themes.' -- 2010 Costa First Novel Award