Nikita Lalwani

One of Owen Sheers’ selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“Over the course of three beautifully written novels, Welsh author Nikita Lalwani deploys an acute insight into human nature to explore the blurred edges of kindness and compassion. Her latest, You People, vitally refreshes contemporary narratives around immigration and diversity to create an en-grossing urban story of escape, responsibility and moral ambiguity.”

– Owen Sheers

I often write in an attempt to answer something confusing.

Nikita Lalwani is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of three novels including, most recently, You People which she is adapting for television with World Productions. She is a screenwriter on upcoming BBC1 series ‘The Offenders’ and has a feature screenplay of her second novel ‘The Village’ in development. Her writing has been translated into sixteen languages and nominated for several awards, including the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Award. She was born in Rajasthan, raised in Cardiff and lives in London.

Interview with Nikita for Good Housekeeping Magazine

Listen to Nikita on the London Review Bookshop podcast

Listen to Nikita on BBC Front Row

Praise for You People:

‘A female lead who isn’t defined by a romantic story arc? Yes please. Lalwani’s serious, ravishing way of writing about the secret life of Britain is just what we need’ – The Times

‘A lively, poetically written and above all compassionate book’ – Sunday Times

You People is a short, complex novel that shines a light behind the smiles at your local restaurant, and asks tough questions about the nature of goodness in an unfair society’ – Sunday Telegraph Book of the Week

‘A moving, authentic, humane novel which raises fundamental questions about what it means to be kind in an unkind world’ – Guardian

‘Folds serious social issues into an entertaining plot’ – Daily Mail

‘Pulses with energy’ – Mail on Sunday

‘Lalwani’s prose has a balletic lightness… Slinking along like a thriller, it encompasses people-smuggling, the labyrinthine inhumanity of Britain’s immigration system, alcoholism and class prejudice that cuts both ways. Kindness and its motives are a constant preoccupation’ – Economist

‘Timely and hopeful’ – Cosmopolitan

‘Lalwani’s vivid, intensely empathic novel raises profound moral questions while maintaining the momentum and urgency of a thriller’ – The Lady

‘Intelligent and heart-piercing – an exceptional novel about the Britain we live in, even if we choose not to see it’ – Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

‘A startlingly original, continuously astute, and deeply compassionate novel. You People alerts us, in these dark times, to the possibility of human nobility’ – Pankaj Mishra

‘Enthralling as a thriller, yet also a beautiful human drama, and a serious enquiry into the possibility of goodness’ – Tessa Hadley

‘Beautiful and brilliant. The exquisite writing is vivid, poetic and perceptive; the characters alive and compelling. Everything I want from a novel. I loved it’ – Stephen Merchant

To be recognised in this way, for the thing you do, the thing you love, by a writer you admire, is nothing short of a dream. I’m very grateful.



Download and read an extract from You People


Review of Sonia Falerio’s The Good Girls, The Guardian

Reasons for Hope, Penguin

You People, Penguin Books, 2 Apr 2020

The Tottenham Riot, 2011: Two for One’, Resist: Stories of Uprising, Page, R. (ed.)., 17 Oct 2019, Comma Press

‘To Catch a Thief”, Three’s A Crowd: Book Slam Annual Vol. III, Book Slam Production Ltd, 23 Jul 2015

The Village, Penguin Books, 25 Apr 2013

‘Mr X versus Hospital Y’, AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India, Vintage, 4 Sep 2008
Gifted, Penguin Books, 1 May 2008

Contact Nikita




Agent: Wylie Agency


Viking at Penguin UK

Mcsweeneys, USA