Indian writings have ruled the literary world since the period of Upanishad and Vedas. Even today they are no less. On World Book Day, we bring to you some of the finest Indian writers of modern time and warn you, they are addictive!
1. Arundhati Roy
Best known for her fictional novel The God of Small Things which won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997, Arundhati Roy is one of the most celebrated Indian authors.
The God of Small Things is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures the author’s childhood experiences in Aymanam. Roy has also written numerous non-fictions like The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2002), Power Politics (2002), Public Power in the Age of Empire (2004) and Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy (2010).
2. Khushwant Singh
My father’s personal favourite, Khushwant Singh, was one of the most renowned authors in the history of Indian literature. Born in 1915 in Hadali (now in Pakistan), Singh brought both the sourly-related nations India and Pakistan closer through his writings. His novels give us a ride to the partition era.
The late Padma Bhushan awardee’s classics are Train to Pakistan (1956), I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale (1959), Delhi (1990), Why I Supported the Emergency (2009) and his last novel The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous (2013).
3. Anita Desai
Born to a German mother and a Bengali father, Anita Desai had the advantages of both the cultures and she applied them perfectly in her writings. Desai received a Sahitya Academy Award in 1978 for her novel Fire on the Mountain (1977).
The other bestselling books of the Padma Bhushan awardee are The Peacock Garden (1974), Clear Light of Day (1980), The Village by the Sea (1982), In Custody (1984) and Fasting, Feasting (1999).
4. Chetan Bhagat
If you’re a contemporary reader, Chetan Bhagat is the ideal pick! Popular for his urban middle class stories, Bhagat was honoured as “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history” by The New York Times in 2008.
Bhagat’s bestselling novels were Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014) and Making India Awesome (2015). His books have inspired Bollywood blockbusters like 3 Idiots, Kai Po Che! and 2 States.
5. Anuja Chauhan
Anuja Chauhan brings out the strong woman in every girl. Often referred to as ‘the best writer of the Indian commercial fiction genre’, Chauhan’s writings have a unique flavor of romance with a witty twist.
Chauhan’s best-selling novels include The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle For Bittora (2010), Those Pricey Thakur Girls (2013) and The House That BJ Built (2015). All these books are rom-coms, the first set in the glamorous, high pressure world of Indian cricket, the second in the heat and dust of a Lok Sabha election, the third in pre-liberalization New Delhi, plagued by a state-censored media and the fourth a jump sequel of the third which is set against the backdrop of a family property dispute involving BJ’s 200-crore house on New Delhi’s posh Hailey Road.
With such masterpieces in store, what better way to celebrate this day than indulge in world-class work of Indian novelists!