Cardiff in the 1980s is a place where maths can get you noticed. Rumi Vasi is the town’s maths prodigy. Numbers protect her from the harsh vagaries of the playground and give a pattern to her world. Longlisted for the Booker Prize, ‘Gifted’ is a story of high aspirations and deep longing, and of the loneliness of childhood.
In a voice that is by turns very funny and fiercely tender, Gifted by Nikita Lalwani brings us a captivating story of high aspirations and deep longing, and of the sometime loneliness of childhood.
Cardiff in the 1980s is a place where maths can get you noticed. Rumis Vasi is the town’s ‘maths prodigy’: untangling numbers and Rubik’s Cubes protects her from the harsh vagaries of the playground and gives a pattern to her world. But after years of her father’s determined tutoring, Rumi finds that numbers are beginning to lose their innocence. India infuses her with a romantic sense of belonging and, as she grows older, and desire becomes a dirty word in the Vasi household, the idea of love is opened up to painful examination.
‘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, Observer
‘Superb, brilliantly realised. The searing narrative is unflinchingly and tenderly written’ Independent
‘Compelling, heart-wrenching and laced with redemptive hope . . . Touching and funny’ 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.