A voice on the Launch - Nikita Lalwani

Nikita Lalwani was born in Rajasthan, India but was one when her family relocated to Cardiff. She lives in London with her husband and child.
After studying English at Bristol University, she went on to work for the BBC, directing factual television and documentaries. 
Her first novel, 'Gifted' was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize (2007), shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. It is currently being translated into 16 languages.

Gifted is more of an coming-to-age novel. It portrays Rumi as the main character who is a mathematical genius. The immigrant attitude is very evident in the depiction of the parents Mahesh and Shreene done wonderfully by Nikita in the novel. As the parent gradually loose Rumi to the adulthood and consequently to independence, their desperation heightens. Its a novel that many of us could identify with and it show cases brilliantly the talent that Nikita has as a writer.

Her most recent publication is an essay in the anthology AIDS SUTRA.
In June 2008 Nikita Lalwani won the Desmond Elliot Prize for New Fiction. She collaborated with poet and refugee Mir Mahfuz Ali to write a poem that was used as part of Liberty’s Charge or Release campaign and performed on The Verb for BBC Radio 3 as part of National Refugee Week.
Gifted was adapted for BBC Radio 4 as a drama for Woman’s Hour, which won the Best Radio Drama category in the Mental Health Media Awards 2008.

Nikita also contributes articles in The Guardian.

Read Stephen Merchant and Nikita Lalwani in an interview in The Independent
Read a review of "Gifted" here and here.


A Voice on Launch - Kia Abdullah

Kia Abdullah was born and raised in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. She is of Bangladeshi descent; her parents moved to Britain from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh during the 1970s. She is the seventh oldest of nine children. Kia, 29, is a British-Asian author and journalist. 
Kia graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Queen Mary, University of London in 2003. After a stint in information technology, she changed career and opted to become a writer instead.
She has written two novels, 'Life, Love and Assimilation', published in 2006, and 'Child’s Play', published in 2009.
Her first novel, 'Life, Love and Assimilation', debuted among praise and controversy in equal measures. The Bangladeshi community, including members of Kia’s own family, denounced the book due to its no-holds-barred description of the drugs problem in Tower Hamlets along with the inclusion of several sexually graphic scenes.
Despite the controversy, she remains firm in her view that issues should be explored, saying: “I have a voice and I’ll say what I want with it. I am not backing down. I am not staging a retreat. Let people say what they want to say.”
As a journalist, Kia has interviewed a range of prominent Asian actors and musicians and contributes to a number of publications including 'The Guardian' newspaper and international glossy magazine 'Asian Woman'.

Listen to Kia Abdullah being interviewed by Anita Rani on BBC Asian Network here.


Tammy Ho - A voice on the Launch

Tammy Ho Lai-ming is a Hong Kong-born writer. She writes poetry, short stories and non-fiction. She studied at the University of Hong Kong, where she obtained her BA and MPhil. Tammy is currently pursuing a PhD degree in English Literature (focusing on Neo-Victorian fiction) at King’s College London. 

She edited Hong Kong U Writing: An Anthology (2006) and co-edited Love & Lust (2008). She also serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Sotto Voce Magazine and is founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. She is an editorial member of the AHRC-funded journal, Victorian Network. 

Tammy's short story "Let Her Go" won the second runner-up place in The Standard-RTHK Short Story Competition in 2005. Her poem "Elegy To A Brother Who Wrote Autobiographical Poems"  was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2008).

From June 2007 to May 2008, she was a co-editor of Word Salad Poetry Magazine. She is a founding co-editor (with Jeff Zroback) of the first HK-based online English literary journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. In 2009, Tammy's poetry was exhibited in London and performed at the First Peng Chau Cultural Carnival 2009. She writes extensive comments on creative works published in Cha in the critique column, “A Cup of Fine Tea.”

To hear her recite poetry and remember the experiences of writing and publishing, please join us at the launch of VAANI. Click on the event page on the navigation menu to buy tickets online.

Copyright (c) VAANI etc.

Copyright © VAANI. The written piece of work is the property of the individual writers who belong to the group called Vaani. Copying or abuse of any material here is strictly prohibited. Permission of the writer is required to use their work somewhere else. For such matters, Please contact us here .