First-time novelist Kishwar Desai won the First Novel Award for 'Witness the Night' which explores India’s hidden female infanticide.
The Costa Book Awards are one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognize books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. It has five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. The winners in each category will receive $ 8000 or 5000 pounds each at a ceremony in central London on Tuesday, 25 January 2010.
Kishwar Desai, along with the winners in the other four categories, is now a contestant for the 30,000 pound award of the Costa Book of the Year 2010. This will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony.
On the occasion, the judges; Anita Rani, Anneka Rice and Mark Thornton said of 'Witness the Night': 'Kishwar Desai pulls off a remarkable trick, transplanting a country house murder to modern day India in a book that is not afraid to tackle serious themes.We were thrilled and exhilarated by this stunning debut. Just like her feisty main character, Desai has fearlessly blown the lid on the problems that simmer under the surface of modern-day India.'
Kishwar Desai has worked in print and broadcast media for over two decades. She has been a journalist, TV producer, anchor and TV channel head and worked with most major Indian networks. Her most recent role was as Vice President for Zee Telefilms.