The Village by Nikita Lalwani, the prize-winning author of Gifted, is a disturbing and utterly gripping modern morality tale set in contemporary India and will appeal to readers of Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss and Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake.
Ray, a young British-Asian woman arrives in the afternoon heat of a small village in India. She has come to live there for several months to make a documentary about the place. For this is no ordinary Indian village - the women collecting water at the well, the men chopping wood in the early morning light have all been found guilty of murder. The village is an open prison. Ray is accompanied by two British colleagues and, as the days pass, they begin to get closer to the lives of the inhabitants of the village. And then it feels too close. As the British visitors become desperate for a story, the distinction between innocence and guilt, between good intentions and horrifying results becomes horribly blurred.
Set in a village modelled on a real-life open prison in India, The Village is a gripping story about manipulation and personal morality, about how truly frail our moral judgement can be. Nikita Lalwani has written a dazzling, heartfelt and disturbing novel which delivers on all the promise of her first.
'A sparkling funny and poignant study of a young maths prodigy struggling with her gift and a difficult family' Gerard Woodward, Books of the Year (Gifted), Observer
Nikita Lalwani was born in Rajasthan and raised in Cardiff. Her first novel Gifted was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and won the Desmond Elliott Prize. She lives in London.