The daughter of renowned author Anita Desai, Indian-American novelist Desai is the author of The Inheritance of Loss and the youngest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize, Britain's top literary award.

Born in Chandigarh, Desai spent her childhood years with her mother, Anita (a three-time short-listed Booker Prize author herself), in Pune and Mumbai. They moved to England for a year and finally settled in the United States when Desai was a teen. Studying creative writing at Bennington and Columbia, her debut novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard won praise from the likes of Salman Rushdie and was awarded the Betty Trask award, a premiere award for young writers. Her second novel, though, The Inheritance of Loss was a worldwide phenomenon, winning her the Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle award for 2006. Although she's continued to contribute pieces to publications like the New Yorker, she hasn't written a novel since her 2006 award-winner. [Image via Getty]