“A room without books is a body without a soul”, said Cicero and we couldn’t agree more. Books mean different things to different people. For some, it is an escape from the mundanity of life, for others; a door to infinite knowledge, and for some; simply a decorative item. No matter the use or purpose, we all have turned to books at some point in life.
For the avid book readers, finding a book to read is a constant struggle. More so when we are specifically looking for an English novel by an Indian author. To share your burden, here’s a list of critically acclaimed Indian authors whose books deserve all our support and appreciation.
1. Arvind Adiga
A journalist by profession, Arvind Adiga is one of the most celebrated Indian authors. His debut novel ‘The White Tiger’ won the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It takes the form of a series of unsent letters to the Chinese premier from Balram Halwai, a murderer who left his village to work as a chauffeur in Delhi.
His other famous works include, ‘Between the Assassinations’, ‘Last Man in Tower’ and ’Selection Day’. Arvind Adiga, in his books, often write about the social disparities that exist in contemporary India.
2. Vikram Seth
A novelist, travel writer, poet, and a memoirist; Vikram Seth is an unusually forthcoming writer whose book, ‘A Suitable Boy’ is among the longest English language Indian books published in a single volume with 1349 pages. His books often include references to his personal life, intricately woven with fiction and delivered to the readers in a highly engaging narrative voice.
3. Anita Desai
Anita Desai has authored several books, including ‘Clear Light of Day’, ‘In Custody’, and ‘Fasting,Feasting’- all shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. She is also a recipient of the Padma Shri award. Her linguistic expressions that often also explores the poetic realm to depict contemporary Indian life, has secured her a place as one the preeminent contemporary Indian novelists.
4. Suketu Mehta
Suketu Mehta’s ‘Maximum City’, shortlisted for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, is an autobiographical account of his time in Bombay, researching and living the life of a ‘Mumbaikar’. From Bollywood to the criminal underworld, his books open up the inner sanctums of this stunning Indian metropolis.
5. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chitra Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet whose books usually include a strong female protagonist and touches upon the themes of immigration, contemporary India, myth and womanhood. Her novel, ‘The Palace of Illusions’ has won several accolades and international recognition.