Looking to kill time? Pick up a book you always wanted to or if you are looking for some classic inspirations, we’ve curated a list of books by authors from India that have greatly influenced the course of the country’s literature. Get your reading journey started!
Great Indian Nove by Shashi Tharoor
This satirical novel recreates the Hindu epic Mahabharata within the context of the Indian Independence Movement and its following decades to become one of the most exciting reads in contemporary Indian literature.
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
This historical Indian book was widely revered during its release in 1956 for bringing a human perspective to the partition of British India into India and Pakistan. While most accounts of the partition at the time primarily focused on political aspects, Singh recounted the event in terms of human loss and horror.
Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The novel retells the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Draupadi, its lead female character. Draupadi is famous for having married all five of the Pandava brothers – the protagonists of the Mahabharata – and is an ever-present, central character through their journey into exile and war. However, little is told from her perspective or about her motives and thoughts in the original epic, which Divakaruni tactfully reclaims in the Palace of Illusions.
In Custody by Anita Desai
The novel revolves around Deven Sharma, an Urdu scholar in small-town India who is caught in an ordinary, mundane life teaching the language to indifferent college students. When he is given a chance to interview Nur, one of the country’s finest Urdu poets, he sees it as a way to channel his love for the language in a more meaningful way.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The debut novel by Arundhati Roy tells the story of a family in the 1960s Kerala. Delving deep into a range of issues from the caste system to the state’s encounters with communism, the story follows two fraternal twins, their parents, and their extended family as they navigate life in this highly acclaimed work by the famous activist and writer.
The Last Song of Dusk by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
The novel tells the story of Anuradha, who moves to 1920s Bombay from Udaipur to marry Vardhman. The novel follows their blossoming marriage through its highs and lows with powerful, addictive prose.
White Tiger by Arvind Adiga
The novel was widely acclaimed for its refreshing take on social class disparities and contradictions in contemporary India. The book is a thrilling 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.