11 Books by Indian Authors You Must Read
Cicero said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” And I couldn’t agree more. Books are a life-saver in every situation. Indian English literature is rich with some award-winning and critically acclaimed masterpieces that every book lover should read. Here is a list of books by authors from India that everyone should read:
1. The White Tiger
The White Tiger is Man-Booker-Prize-winning debut novel by Arvind Adiga. It is widely acclaimed for its refreshing take on social class disparities in contemporary India. The book is an interesting first-person narrative told from the perspective of Balram Halwai, a young man from a poverty-stricken small village who moves to Delhi to work as a chauffeur for the elite. Balram successfully manages to ditch the life of servitude and became a successful entrepreneur. But the journey hasn't been easy and Balram has his own dark secrets.
There is no crime in anyone’s blood any more than there is goodness in the blood of others. Criminals are not born. They are made by hunger, want and injustice.— Khushwant Singh, Train To Pakistan
2. Train to Pakistan
This historical novel by Khushwant Singh is based on the tragic events of the partition of India. It was released in 1956 and was widely acclaimed for bringing a human perspective to the partition of India into India and Pakistan. Most accounts of the partition at the time primarily focused on the political aspects, but Khushwant Singh retold the event focusing on the human loss and horror. The novel is set in a village during the times of partition where a peaceful and loving community transforms into one driven by hatred and fear. Train to Pakistan is an essential read for anyone looking to read more about the Partition of India.
3. The Guide
R.K. Narayan is among the most read and celebrated authors in Indian literature. Based in the famous fictional town of Malgudi in South India, The Guide follows the story of Railway Raju, a corrupt tour guide. Some odd turn of events led him to becoming a spiritual guide and eventually a revered holy man in the country. R.K. Narayan was awarded the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters for this novel. The novel was also adapted into a blockbuster Bollywood movie starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman.
4. The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy won the Booker-Prize for her debut novel 'The God of Small Things'. It is the story of a family in 1960's Kerala.The novel follows two fraternal twins Estha and Rahel, their parents and their extended family as they navigate life. This highly acclaimed work deals with a range of issues from the caste system to the state’s encounters with communism.
5. The Interpreter Of Maladies
'The Interpreter Of Maladies' by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of nine stories based on lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are lost between the two cultures. The won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000. This widely appreciated book has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
6. Sacred Games
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra is one of the most arresting English novels in India in the last decade. It draws the reader deep into the life of a cop,Inspector Sartaj Singh and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India. The novel explores an astonishing modern city and its dark side.The novel was adapted into a very popular web series on Netflix starring Saif Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqi.
7. Immortals of Meluha
The Immortals of Meluha is the first novel of the Shiva trilogy series by Amish Tripathi. The story is set in the fabled land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Shiva. The subsequent books of the Shiva trilogy- 'Secret of the Nagas' and 'The Oath of The Vayuputras' make for an equally compelling read. Amish is undoubtedly the George RR Martin of India - a storyteller who with his modern retelling of Indian mythology took the Indian literary world by storm.
One of the best series I have read. Depicting gods as humans to show the struggles they go through and become the person we imagine they might be was a wonderful experience to read. If you are interested in mythology, this book is perfect for you and even if you don’t like mythology, the story is intriguing enough for keeping you engaged.
8. Palace of Illusions
'Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni recounts the story of the famous Indian epic Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view. The book retells the story of Draupadi from birth to her marriage to five husbands and the subsequent journey of war and exile. It is a bold and sensuous story of a strong woman in a male-dominated world who was publicly humiliated in the royal assembly and seeks revenge. If you are even remotely interested in Indian mythology, then you are sure to enjoy this book. (However, there are minor deviations in the novel from the original Mahabharata.)
Love doesn't happen in an instant. It creeps up on you and then it turns your life upside down. It colors your waking moments, and fills your dreams. You begin to walk on air and see life in brilliant new shades. But it also brings with it a sweet agony, a delicious torture.— Vikas Swarup, Q & A
9. Q & A
Q & A is a novel By Vikas Swarup that spawned the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. It tells the story of Ram Mohammad Thomas, a young waiter who becomes the biggest quiz show winner in history, only to be sent to prison after being accused of cheating. During the police interrogation, Ram Mohammed Thomas gives flashbacks of his life to explain to the police how he knew the answers to the show's questions. The novel was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
10. Malgudi Days
Inspired by random common people around him, R.K Narayan created ‘Malgudi Days’. It contains 32 stories about the daily life of people living in Malgudi, a fictional city located in South India. Filled with the pure spirit of India, this book makes for a delightful read.
This collection of short stories makes for a magnificent read. I had read a few as a part of school curriculum. It was lovely to reread the entire book and it made me feel so nostalgic. If you haven't read this book, you are missing a gem .
11. The Great Indian Novel
This satirical novel by Shashi Tharoor is one of the most exciting reads in contemporary Indian literature. It recreates the Hindu epic Mahabharata within the context of the Indian Independence Movement and its following decades. Recasting figures from India’s freedom struggle and politics as mythological characters from a 2,000-year-old epic, the book makes for a powerful read.
Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai - Guide - Lata Mangeshkar - HD
© 2019 Shaloo Walia