(And Some Bad Ones That You Must Avoid!)
India is one of the best countries where you can find art and literature right since ancient times. There are so many different languages spoken in India, and you can find gems in each language, including English. Here we soft through this vast treasure trove of knowledge and bring to you the best Indian authors you must read at least once in your lives.
R.K. Narayan is a prolific writer who writes in English. His books established the fictional town of Malgudi, where Swami and his friends reside, and often discuss grave situations with a touch of dry humour. The language is very simple as well, making him apt for beginners.
Ruskin Bond has been writing wonderful books for children and adults since countless years. His books are usually based in the foothills of the Himalayas, where he hails from himself. They talk entertainingly about the daily lives of the common people there. The Blue Umbrella is one of his most critically acclaimed books that deals with the feelings of love, jealousy, and proprietorship. Dust on the Mountain and Angry River deal with nature’s fury and the damage we are doing to it. There are numerous short stories in which Ruskin Bond describes his life as a young boy at his grandparents’ place, written in an extremely light and hilarious way.
We recommend: The Blue Umbrella, Dust on the Mountain, Angry River, The Room on the Roof, The Night Train at Deoli, and Susanna’s Seven Husbands. Also The Best of Ruskin Bond that is a collection of his stories.
Vikram Seth is known best for his book, “A Suitable Boy.” It follows the lives of four families pre- and post-independence, while a mother tries hard to find a husband for her feisty daughter. An absolute must-read, even if it is too big. He has won the prestigious Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award for his works.
Amitav Ghosh is an Indian writer famous for his well-researched works. He has won many awards for his works, including the Jnanpith Award and Padma Shri. His books have been nominated for the Booker Prize Awards.
We recommend: Sea of Poppies, The Glass Palace, The Shadow Lines.
Arundhati Roy dons many hats with ease – writer, essayist, and political activist. She is known for her book, The God of Small Things which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997.
Jhumpa Lahiri was a struggling writer for many days till her book of short stories, “Interpreter of Maladies” was released. It became an overnight success, describing the lives of immigrant Indians during the days of partition. Now she is an acclaimed writer with many good books to her name.
Khushwant Singh was a journalist and an editor during the turbulent times of partition. His books are hard-hitting, yet sensitive and they describe the lives of the people living in Punjab and Delhi during those times.
There are many more. Rohinton Mistry, Vikram Chandra, Amrita Pritam, Kiran Nagarkar, Shashi Tharoor etc.
But there are some who you should absolutely avoid if you know what’s good for you:
- Chetan Bhagat
- Durjoy Dutta
- Ravinder Singh
- Amish Tripathi (especially the Ramayana series)
Do you know any other authors who you think should be included in either list? Please let us know in the comments!