Awards: Desmond Elliott Winner; Midwest Booksellers Choice Finalists

Preti Taneja has won the £10,000 (about $13,135) 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize for first fiction for her novel, We That Are Young. Judges said that this "retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear set in modern-day India... explores the play's themes of severed relationships and warring families against the backdrop of the 2011 anti-corruption riots in India. It follows 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."

Chairman of the Prize's Trustees Dallas Manderson called We That Are Young "exactly the kind of novel that the Desmond Elliott Prize exists to discover and promote; this extraordinarily accomplished debut has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, not having received the attention and wide-spread acclaim that it so rightly deserves. Our hope is that winning the Prize will help guarantee Preti's long-term future as an author, as we're sure it will be bright."

We That Are Young will be published in the U.S. by Knopf on August 28.


Finalists in five categories have been announced for the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, which are voted for by members of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and honor books that "are a reflection of handselling at its best, as all the books are selected directly by independent booksellers, and celebrate literature in the Midwest, with content either about the region, or an author from our region." Winners will be announced July 15 and celebrated during the Heartland Fall Forum in October. See the complete shortlist here.

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