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Famous Indian Novels: Top 10 Indian English Novels Of All Time

Updated on May 2, 2017

Top 10 Great indian English Novels

Famous Indian English Novels

Indian English literature has a history of more than two centuries. But it began to be noticed outside India only in the last few decades. The Indian English writers won many international recognition and awards - from Booker Prize to the Nobel Prize. Among various genres of literature, novels are the most recognized than other branches. Indian English novels - Top 10 English Novels of All Time is a list of my favorite Indian English Fiction.

Kiran Desai

Kiran Desai, Indian Writer
Kiran Desai, Indian Writer

The Inheritance of Loss

Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss is a grand narrative which encompose the socio- cultural milieu of India and Nepal. It won Booker Prize for fiction in 2006. The novel deals with a number of themes from love to insurgency of youth. Through this novel, Kiran Desai tries to portray the inherent contradictions of desires of individuals and the society in which they live. This novel excels due to the Desai's endeavor to depict the harsh realities in its true colors with a touch of irony and humor.

Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize Speech

The White Tiger

The White Tiger is a novel that surprises the readers by its narrative strategies which goes beyond common story telling methods used by writers of fiction. It tries to find out the role of the have - nots in the world of unethical business and murky politics which are hand in hand with corruption and for exploitation of the downtrodden. The novel is a replica of contemporary Indian polity. The protagonist shares his thoughts with the Chinese premier in a letter. The story evolves through the letter which can compel the reader to complete it in one sitting. Aravind Adiga's debut novel, The White Tiger, received the Man Booker Prize in 2008.

R K Narayan

R K Narayan, Indian Writer
R K Narayan, Indian Writer

The Guide

“The Guide” is the most well known novel of R K Narayan, who is the first major Indian English fiction writer with a considerable readers abroad. The Guide explores the truths behind the unexplained depths of human mind through the main characters. The novel portrays the transformation of the protagonist in different phases of his life and the role of fate in human life. R K Narayan creates a fictional world -Malgudi- where the story evolves and finally Raju, the protagonist, decides to sacrifice his life for the rural folks who consider him as a divine person.


Kanthapura, written by Rajarao, is a well known novel which deals with the Gandhian influence on the Indian freedom movement. The novel's success rest in the narrative technique which the writer appropriated from the tradition of Harikatha. Raja rao collects the materials for his novel from the history, culture and political movements of pre-independent India. The writer pictures an ideal Indian village, Kanthapura, where the story takes place. Kanthapura is one of the gems of Indian narrative literature.

So Many Hungers

So Many Hungers is the masterpiece of Babani Battacharya. Indian freedom struggle, partition, and the Bengal famine are the major themes of “So Many Hungers”. The novel pictures the inherent nature of human beings of different strata of society based on the great tragedy of 20th century – Bengal famine in which lives of two million innocent people of Bengal were sacrificed. Babani Battacharya depicts agonies, cruelties, frustrations, privations, and uncertainties of common man during great tragedies in which they have no control.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy, Indian Writer
Arundhati Roy, Indian Writer

The God of Small Things

“The God of Small Things” is Arundhati Roy's celebrated novel which received The Man Booker Prize for fiction in 1997. The novel pictures the pathetic plight of “small things” in the world. Arundhathi Roy narrates the story of Ammu, whose life has many parallel with that of author's in many respects. The novel is a critique of untouchability, police administration, gender discrimination, and hypocritical moral code of society. The language and narrative style of the novel is much praised by both the readers and critics.

A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth's A SUITABLE BOY is considered as one of the longest novels in the English Literature. The novel deals with the life and aspirations of Indian middle class in the post independent India. The novel is a search for a suitable match for a girl of marriageable age and it presents the contemporary India realistically. The socio – political happenings of India after independence have been narrated along the story of epic grandeur.

Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat, Indian Writer
Chetan Bhagat, Indian Writer | Source

Revolution 2020

Chetan Bhagat is one of the most famous novelist of India today. All of his novels are best sellers. The author tries to reveal the great tragedy of contemporary India – corruption. REVOLUTION 2020 is a scathing attack to various manifestation of corruption in Indian society by which the common man are suffering and struggling to cope with. Though the plot of the novel revolves round triangular love affair, the attitude of the writer to the greatest evil of India make the novel an outstanding work.


Coolie, one of the earlier novels of Mul Raj Anand, is very popular for the portrayal of social realism and truthful account of problems of members of the lower strata of the society. The journey child protagonist from poverty and starvation to a prey of exploitation of various forms has been pictured in this novel. The novel depicts the universal conflict of haves and have-nots very objectively.

Anita Desai

Anita Desai, Indian Writer
Anita Desai, Indian Writer

Cry, The Peacock

Cry, The Peacock”, one of the most famous Indian novels, is written by Anita Desai. The novel's theme is the exploration of the mind of a very sensitive young woman. The neurotic female protagonist suffers from alienation and existential crisis. Anita Desai is very successful in delineation of characters and their mind through psychological realism and fantasy in this novel.

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  • sunnykanaparthi profile image

    kanaparthi sunny 3 years ago from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

    GREAT,Proud To Be An Indian.

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    Ak singh 3 years ago

    Brought the truth of society in great way.

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    Tuna panda 3 years ago

    I'm proud of reading some English novels by our Indian writers .

  • profile image

    Soumya Ranjan 3 years ago

    The way of thinking & representation of fact is high so i feel proud for Indian writer .

  • profile image

    prashant.patil 3 years ago

    I feel very happy because our Indian writer also gave most famous works to world.

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    akhilesh 3 years ago

    I wish for all indian author that he write a great thngs nd with many opinion...

  • ravi1991 profile image

    Ashutosh Tiwari 4 years ago from Lucknow, India

    hey ! nice presentation.

    Chetan Bhagat had been my favorite in past.

    Impressed with Kiran Desai.