12 'must read' Indian authors

12 ‘must read’ Indian authors

  • Jhumpa Lahiri – Indian American of Bengali origin. Her first novel, “The Namesake” was a major national bestseller and was named the New York Magazine Book of the Year. Jhumpa Lahiri became the first Asian to win the Pulitzer Prize when she won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book “Interpreter of Maladies.”Her second book “Inheritance of Loss” was also hugely successful.
  • Salman Rushdie – best known for his controversial book The Satanic Verses (1988), which was banned in India and provoked the Muslim community and there so much so that a “fatwa” (calling for Rushdie’s assassination) was declared on the author for “blas” by Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomenei.
  • S. Naipaul (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul). Naipual’s grandparents migrated from India to Trinidad as indentured servants. Born and raised in Trinidad, Naipaul’s early novels centred on the country of his birth. He studied at the University of Oxford and since then has written over 50 books on a variety of issues, countries and experiences. His novel A Bend in the River chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa as it explores the themes of personal exile and political and individual corruption. It expresses Naipaul’s scepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent and politically viable identities.
  • Kiran Desai is a well-known Indian author. She is the winner of the 2006 Booker prize. She spent the early years of her life in Pune and Mumbai. Her powerful book The Inheritance of Loss is set in the Himalayas and is about a young Indian girl, Sai, who lives with her grandfather, a retired judge, in a damp and crumbling house. Sai has started a relationship with her Nepalese maths tutor, Gyan. But, unknown to her, Gyan has become seduced by a group of Nepalese insurgents, some of whom are, as the book opens, marching to Sai’s house to steal food, Pond’s Cold Cream, Grand Marnier, and her grandfather’s old rifles. The book tackles issues of colonialism and its legacy, love and its limits – but it is attached to the small details of life.
  • K. Narayan is one of the most famous and widely read Indian novelists. His stories were grounded in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of ordinary life. He was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja’s College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there. In 1958 Narayan’s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country’s highest literary honour.
  • Arundhati Roy is a famous Indian novelist and social activist. Arundhati Roy came into limelight in 1997 when she won the Booker Prize for her first novel The God of Small Things. She was awarded Sydney Peace Prize in 2004. Roy’s debut novel is a masterpiece. The book pivots around tragedy and hope. The book also explores the full range of human emotion.
  • Aravind Adiga– winner of The Man Booker Award for his book The White Tiger.  The novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. The story revolves around Balram, who worked his way out from his low social caste and how he became successful and how he overcame all the social obstacles.
  • Anita Desai is an Indian novelist and short story writer. She is known for her sensitive portrayal of the inner feelings of her female characters. Many of Anita Desai’s novels explore tensions between family members and the alienation of middle-class women. Her published works include adult novels, children’s books and short stories. She is a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. She has been shortlisted for the Booker prize three times.
  • Vikram Seth – author of A Suitable Boy. The book is a story of ordinary people set in post- independence Indian background, who are looking for a suitable boy for Lata’s marriage. Lata is 19 and she believes in falling in love first. There’s not only the pursuit of marriage and happiness but heartache and disappointment, which is universal.
  • Rohinton Mistry is a famous Indian-Canadian writer. His works include Long Journey, A Fine Balance, Family Matters which are all set in India’s Parsee community.
  • Ramachandra Guha is a prominent Indian writer who has written on different topics such as social, political, historical, and environmental, also on the history of cricket. Besides this, he is a well-known columnist who writes for The Telegraph, The Hindu and The Hindustan Times and is also an Indian historian.
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee, best remembered for his debut novel English, August: An Indian Story. The story revolves around Agastya Sen and how his life changes when he goes to Madna, a small town. The author has also drawn heavily from his own experience in the Indian administrative service to paint a picture of rural India.

Sources: Famous Indian writers, iloveindia.com

See also: 12 excellent books by Indian authors that you must read (October 23rd, 2015) on Storypicks.com

Share this: