10 must read novels written by Indian authors
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10 must read novels written by Indian authors

A treasure trove of stories that can be cherished at different stages of life

10 must read novels written by Indian authors

Indian writing in English is a rich representation of experiences purely Indian expressed in a once-foreign language. The language provided a wide readership to these works around the world. In the process, it resonated with the life, people and culture of India. Through the years, writers such as Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Ruskin Bond and RK Narayan among others have given us a treasure trove of stories that can be cherished at different stages of life.

This National Author's day, go through the best books written by Indian Authors to learn something about India's culture diverse culture and politics-

Clear light of day

This novel is written by Anita Desai and was published in 1980. This novel set in old Delhi revolves around the tensions faced by the Das family in post-partition India. The main characters of the novel are Tara, Bimla, Aunt Mira, Hyder Ali, and Baba. It is about the importance of family and the perspective of adulthood, adolescence and childhood. Anita Desai has been a finalist for the Booker Prize thrice.

Midnight's children

Rushdie, identified as a master storyteller published this novel in 1981.  Saleem Sinai was born at the exact moment when India became an independent country. He is born with telepathic powers, as well as an enormous and constantly dripping nose with an extremely sensitive sense of smell. Through this novel, Rushdie reflects on the transitions of India from British colonial rule to independence and partition.  It looks at the society, culture, religion, politics and language through the era. Midnight's children won both the Booker Prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981.

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A Suitable Boy

This novel is written by Vikram Seth and was published in 1993.  Lata attends the marriage of her elder sister with university lecturer Pran Kumar when her mother resolves that Lata too must get married. The novel travels through Lata's life to find a suitable boy. It follows the 4 different families for 18 months in different states such as Lucknow, Delhi, Calcutta and Brahmpur.

Interpreter of Maladies

This anthology is written by Jhumpa Lahiri and it was published in 1999. This novel is a collection of different short stories. And it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN award in 2000. The stories are about the lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are caught between their roots and the "New World". The main characters of the story are Shukumar, Shoba, Miranda, Sanjeev, and Twinkle. Other interesting stories in this anthology include 'A temporary matter', 'A real durwan' and 'Sexy'.

The God of the small things

This novel is written by Arundhati Roy and it was published in 1997. This novel is based on family drama and how small things affect the lives of humans through generations. It has the story of fraternal twins Estha and Rahel whose lives are dictated by the "Love Laws" prevalent in 1960s Kottayam, Kerala

The Inheritance of Loss

This novel is written by Kiran Desai and published in 2006. The Inheritance of Loss won the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award in 2007. This novel is based on the themes of migration and living between two worlds. The main characters are Sai and Biju. Biju is an Indian living in the United States illegally, the son of a cook who works for Sai's grandfather. Sai is an orphan living in mountainous Kalimpong with her maternal grandfather.

A Fine Balance

This novel is written by Rohinton Mistry and it was published in 1995. This novel has the story of 4 different people who live, work and meet each other in an overpopulated city, struggling to find a living. The novel realistically captures the cruelty and corruption during the emergency in 1975.

Malgudi Days

This novel written by R. K. Narayan was published in 1943. In this novel, you will get to read 32 different short stories from the fictional town Malgudi in South India. Each of the stories portrays a facet of life in Malgudi. Some of the stories were later adapted to a Doordarshan teleshow of the same name.

Train to Pakistan

This novel is written by Khushwant Singh and it was published in 1956. This novel recounts the Partition of India in 1947 through the perspective of Mano Majra, a fictional border village. It talks about the mental trauma faced by the people, their suffering, their fear and the haters between two different communities.

The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian

This novel is written by Nirad C. Chaudhuri and it was published in 1951. Written when he was around 50, it records his life from his birth in 1897 in Kishoreganj, a small town in present-day Bangladesh. This novel is divided into 4 parts: my birthplace, my ancestral place, my mother's place and England. Telling the story of modern India from his own fiercely independent, witty and endearing viewpoint, this book makes for a great read.