Thursday, 19 November 2015

General Whimsy: My Top 10 Indian Authors!


I read a lot of Indian books. Well, I am Indian of course. But that's not the only reason I read so many Indian books, I genuinely enjoy Indian writing and story-telling. There is so much great writing that comes out of India. Master story-tellers. And this has been the case for centuries. Of course, there is a lot of 'popular' Indian writing as well, books that sell millions of copies. Books that many people read and love. Books which I don't really read...because....they are not for me. I don't judge anyone who reads and loves them. To each their own.

I thought it was high time I share some of my favourite Indian Authors of all time. And with it share some of my favourite books by them.

In no particular order (because they're all that good!), let's get listing...

1. Jhumpa Lahiri--- A writer whose books always manage to move me and whose writing is seriously lovely. I remember reading The Interpreter of Maladies when it first came out and being blown away by it. Highly, highly recommend her books. She has 2 full length novels and 2 short-story collections out.

2. Amitav Ghosh--- A total genius. His writing is wonderful and he writes of such unique and interesting things. He writes of places and people seldom written about. The Glass Palace, Shadow Lines and The Ibis Trilogy are all fantastic works and I highly recommend him.

3. Satyajit Ray--- Well, another Bengali on the list! Surprise, surprise. Apart from being one the finest film directors in the world, Satyajit Ray is a fine writer. He writes a wide range stories, the Feluda stories are of course very famous and so much fun and absolutely lovely. He also write science-fiction. Poignant short stories and some very eerie ghost stories. Give him a read and I promise you won't regret it. Also his movies are obviously very, very good.

4. Anita Desai--- A newish discovery for me, I had heard of her and seen her books for absolute ages but for some reason I never picked her books up. Silly me. Last year I decided to give her books a try and I just fell in love. Fantastic writing, brilliantly crafted characters and very poignant and touching yet unsentimental stories. Some of my favourite books by her are- Fasting and Feasting, The Village by the Sea and The Artist of Disappearance.

5. Ruskin Bond--- Can't have any list of Indian writers and not have Ruskin Bond on the list! An institution in himself! He's been around forever and has so many books out. Books for children, young adults, adults and everybody else. There really is something for everyone in his stories. His books are wonderful and to me are books I read for comfort. He too writes a great range of stories, little vignettes, ghost stories, funny anecdotes and heart-felt stories of love.

6. Sudha Murthy--- Another author I find comforting and easy to read and always a pleasure to read. Her books are fairly new to me as well but I've read pretty much everything she's ever written! She writes novels, short-stories and even stories inspired by her life and work. I really liked House of Cards, The Mother I Never Knew and all of her non-fiction stories.

7. Saratchandra--- Time for some classic. And a writer who didn't write in English. Saratchandra wrote in Bengali and he is a writer I've heard about my whole life from my family and parents. He was my grandmother's favourite writer and Parineeta was her favourite story. I am so glad that I have found translations to read his works. When I first started reading his books I was stunned by how ahead of his times he was. Also, he was a feminist. :) I loved Parineeta of course, Srikanta and Devdas was good too.

8. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni--- An Indian-American writer who writes books set in India and America. She writes of families, sisters and ties that bind. Heartfelt and sincere and very engaging and engrossing reads. I loved Sister of my Heart, Arranged Marriage, The Vine of Desire and The Palace of Illusions.

9. Anuja Chauhan--- A chick-lit writer for the list. And pretty much the best Indian chick-lit/romance writer in India in my opinion. Funny, silly and full of belly-laughs her books are a joy to read and always a fun ride. Her last book-- The House That BJ Built- was a disappointment but everything else by her is a delight to read.

10. Ismat Chugtai-- Ismat Chugtai was a prolific Urdu writer and her stories were ahead of her time and simply thought-provoking and delightful. I have, of course, read her translated works and I have loved every short story I have read. Highly, highly recommend her!

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