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Anita Nair
Anita Nair
Born 26 January 1966 (1966-01-26) (age 55)
Shoranur, Kerala, India
Education B.A (English Literature)
Alma mater NSS College, Ottapalam, Kerala
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
Occupation Writer
Known for Ladies Coupé, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting, Idris: Keeper of the Light

Anita Nair (born 26 January 1966) is an Indian novelist.

Early life

Nair was born in Shoranur in Kerala's Palakkad district. She was educated in Chennai before returning to Kerala for a BA in English literature. She lives in Bangalore with her husband and son.


Nair was working as the creative director of an advertising agency in Bangalore when she wrote her first book, a collection of short stories called Satyr of the Subway. It won her a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Nair's second book was published by Penguin India. Her novels The Better Man and Ladies Coupé have been translated into 21 languages. Among Nair's early commercial works were pieces penned for The Bangalore Monthly magazine (now called "080" Magazine).

Ladies Coupé is about women's conditions in a male dominated society. Nair has also written The Puffin Book of Myths and Legends (2004), and edited Where the Rain is Born (2003). Her poems have appeared in anthologies like The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India, featuring 151 Indian English poets.

She has written other books such as Mistress (2003), Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel (2006), Living Next Door to Alise (2007), Magical Indian Myths (2008), and the play Nine Faces of Being adapted from her book Mistress Other works by Nair include The Lilac House (2012) and Alphabet Soup for Lovers (2016).

Her sixth novel Idris: Keeper of The Light (2014) is a historical and geographical novel about a Somalian trader who visited Malabar in 1659 AD.

Awards and recognitions

  • Arch of Excellence Award by the All India Achievers' Conference, New Delhi for Literature
  • 2007 LiBeraturpreis, finalist, Germany.
  • 2008 FLO FICCI Women Achievers Award, for literature
  • 2009 Montblanc honored her with the launch of the Special Edition writing instrument in India; for her novel contribution to literature, enforcing cross cultural endeavors and enlightening experiences that have transcended an inexhaustible diversity of forms - barriers of language, cultures and identities.
  • 2012 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for her contribution to literature and culture
  • 2014 The Hindu Literary Prize shortlist for Idris Keeper Of The Light
  • 2015 Global Ambassador for Women for Expo May
  • 2017 Crossword Book Award, Jury Award, Children's category, Muezza and Baby Jaan
  • Satyr of the Subway & Eleven Other Stories 1997, ,
  • The Better Man New Delhi ; London : Penguin Books, 1999. ,
  • Ladies Coupé 2001. ,
  • Malabar Mind - Poetry Calicut : Yeti Books, 2002. ,
  • Where the Rain is Born - Writings about Kerala (Editor) 2003
  • Puffin Book of World Myths and Legends 2004
  • Mistress 2005. ,
  • Adventures of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel 2006. ,
  • Living Next Door To Alise 2007. ,
  • Magical Indian Myths 2008. ,
  • Goodnight & God Bless 2008. ,
  • Lessons In Forgetting 2010. ,
  • Chemmeen' (Translator) 2011
  • Cut Like Wound – Literary noir 2012. ,
  • The Lilac House: a novel New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2012. ,
  • Idris – Historical novel 2014. ,
  • Alphabet soup for lovers, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India: HarperCollins Publishers India, 2015. ,
  • Chain of custody : an inspector Gowda novel, Noida : Harper Black, 2016. , /
  • Eating Wasps, Context, 2018
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