My bookshelf is filled with several books by Indian authors. Though not everyone will like the kind of books I love to read, here's presenting my list of Top 5 books by Indian authors you must buy and read! (in no particular order).
1. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
Do not judge this book by those 1500 odd pages. A suitable boy is one of the best books that I have read so far. As the title suggests, the central theme of the story is a mother's hunt to find a suitable boy for her daughter. Set in India during the early 1950's, fresh after partition, it provides a window into the culture & history of India during that time. The opening section of the novel itself attracted me towards it. I couldn't stop reading till I finished the last page of the book. As I finished reading the book, I just felt - "Wish it could just go on forever." Yes, the book is worth Rs 799, but it is worth every penny. The author is a pure genius. His book "An Equal music" is next on my wishlist now!
2. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
This one earned Salman Rushdie a Booker prize in 1981 and also the Booker of Bookers prize in 1993. Midnight's Children was the 2nd novel written by Rushdie. It's the story of Saleem Sinai whose life is destined to follow the ebb and flow of India’s own fortunes. He is telepathically linked to the other children born in the first hour of India’s independence, all of whom have their own gifts.
The book is definitely a must read. But it's strictly for those who can accept the writers imagination. A must buy!
3. The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh
One of my favorite authors, my favourite books from the Ibis trilogy & the rave reviews urged me to buy this book. It turned out to be one of the most amazing novels I have read till date. It is a contemporary story. The main characters in this novel are Piyali Roy, a young marine biologist and Kanai Dutt who is a businessman from Delhi. The novel explores humanism & environmentalism in an interesting way, Specially when they come in conflict against each other.The Morichjhanpi massacre incident of 1978-79, when the government of West Bengal forcibly evicted thousands of Bengali refugees who had settled on the island, forms a background in some parts of the novel.
Amitav Ghosh's style of writing is splendid. His stories always travel throughout time and space. His writing has an asymmetrical flow. I also love the mixture of fact and fiction in his writings. Oh well, I won't give out all the details so soon. So I suggest you go out and buy this book. Amitav Ghosh has touched upon a lot of social issues in this novel.
Other books by Amitav Ghosh that you must read include - The Ibis trilogy (Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke), The Glass Palace.
4. Mahashweta - Dr. Sumati Kshetramade/Sudha Murthy
I always wanted to explore the world of Sudha Murthy's work. She has written many novels and I have read 3 of them. But personally, I really liked Mahashweta. Fabulous piece of work and it is so emotional. The novel was first written in Marathi by Dr.Sumati Kshetramade, and was also adapted into a TV series.Later,Mrs Murthy wrote the book in Kannada which dealt with the same theme. I was awestruck by the character of the protagonist, who goes through major ups and downs in life due to Leukoderma, which is treated in India as a curse. Although the book looks simple with little pages (when compared to books like A suitable boy or The Hungry tide), the impact of this book is big! It took me just 4 hours to finish this book, but the story has left a long lasting effect on my mind and heart. It is definitely a book lovers delight. Also read Sudha Murthy's "Gently falls the Bakula", which is also very well written!
5. The Great Indian Novel - By Shashi Tharoor
The Great Indian Novel is a Satire. A fictional work that takes the story of the Epic, Mahabharata and recasts as well as resets it in the context of the Indian Independence Movement. The novel has 18 books within the book (very similar to the Mahabharata).The author very cleverly begins the story with Mahabharta as reference and then juxtaposes our prominent freedom fighters and leaders in his story (Characters like Ved vyas, Amba, Pandu in Mahabharata are referred to as C.Rajgopalachari, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Subhash Chandra Bose respectively).The main protagonist of this novel is Bhishma Gangaji, a combination of Mahabharta’s Bhishma Pitamah and the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi.What surprised me the most is Tharoor's narration and the concept of the novel. It is so DIFFERENT! Books like The Great Indian Novel teach us that our Mythological stories are so versatile, that they can be retold in 100 different ways and yet, each story will sound different from the other. These stories themselves can continue to entertain us for centuries to come. A must read for those who love to experiment (Ahem, This one is an award winning book, So read it anyway. You can't afford to miss it).
I could well have written a TOP 10 list. But to help those who still need some recommendations,
here are some more books which you must read:
here are some more books which you must read:
1. Moving On by Shashi Deshpande
2. Raavan and Eddie by Kiran Nagarkar
3. Rudaali by Mahashweta Devi
4. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
5. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
So now that you've got a whole lot of reading to do, go dive into an ocean full of books!