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The Best books by Indian Authors

Updated on September 4, 2012

A compilation of the best books ever written by contemporary Indian Authors

In recent times, there has been a huge boom in the number of Indian Authors trying to make an impression, and many of them have succeeded in doing so! While some Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat (featured in pic) rely on their own life experiences and imagination to concoct gripping stories, others like Aravind Adiga focus their thoughts on changing the system by exposing the reality of the darkness that exists in the rural and less developed parts of India.

Let me take you on a journey that promises to be highly entertaining, if not magical. From the funnier side of India and Indians to eye-opening stories, I can guarantee you that this is a ride that you will enjoy :)

By far the funniest book that I have ever read, and will probably ever read. After reading the book 26 times I can still find something new to appreciate every time I read it.

The story is based on a character called Gopal, who comes from a small town called Jajau (which is locally reputed to be 'the Paris of Madhya Pradesh') in India. He travels to USA to study about advanced Chemical Engineering techniques that he will implement in the Hair Oil factory that has been owned by his family for many generations.

His English is comically Indian and his notion of the USA are totally inadequate and stereotyped, based on whatever books he has read and videos he has seen, many of them being pornographic in nature. The book takes us through his discovery of America and his own growth, especially in the field of romance and girls. His ultimate aim in the USA is to get laid, and his best friend/wingman Randy brings in all his experience to try to help Gopal achieve that aim.

From falling in love and getting his heart broken, to deciphering what I like to the call 'The Great American Basket mystery', from dancing like John Travolta to nearly getting castrated, from inadvertently eating beef to losing his virginity in an Airplane toilet - Gopal does it all in this book. A must read for any book-lover!

The Inscrutable Americans on Amazon - It'll have you rolling on the floor laughing :D

Amazon has The Inscrutable Americans in stock starting from $0.72 for used, and $3.09 for new books. What'd I tell you about cheap ;)

Five Point Someone was Chetan Bhagat's debut novel and has been on the bestseller's list since it was released back in 2004. The book immediately shot to fame among the youth of India and as of today it has become a 'classic'.

The story takes us into the lives of Hari, Ryan and Alok, 3 average 5-pointers at IIT-Delhi who find it very difficult to cope with the grading system at IIT. Hari is the narrator of the story with a couple of small passages where Alok and Ryan narrate. Hari and Alok are rather soft whereas Ryan is bold and outspoken. The story is filled with hilarious twists and turns apart from a serious look into the Indian grading system and how it taxes students to the hilt. The story also becomes dark when their families are involved in the fray.

Most of the book deals with the numerous attempts by the trio to cope with and/or beat the system as well as Hari's fling with Neha who just happens to be the daughter of Prof. Cherian, the domineering head of the Mechanical Engineering Department. Their most important attempt was "C2D"(Cooperate to Dominate). One mission involves stealing question papers from the professor's office and another drunken mission involves Hari sleeping with Neha, wearing Prof. Cherian's shirt and taking his car out to buy cigarettes!

This book takes the cake when it comes to mixing humor with real life situations, and it is a must read for anyone who's ever dreamt of or been to college :D The worldwide hit movie '3 IDIOTS' starring Aamir Khan is also based on this book!

Five Point Someone on Amazon - What not to do at IIT!

Amazon has the book in stock, with the paperback version costing $3.64 onwards for a new book, and $2.74 onwards for used ones.

2 States: The Story of My Marriage - Another gripping novel from Chetan Bhagat!

Love marriages around the world are simple:

Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy.

They get married.

In India, there are a few more steps:

Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy.

Girl's family has to love boy. Boy's family has to love girl.

Girl's Family has to love Boy's Family. Boy's family has to love girl's family.

Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.

The White Tiger was Aravind Adiga's debut novel. Released in 2008, it won the Man Booker prize in the same year.

The White Tiger provides a dark comical view of modern day life in India through the narration of Balram Halwai, the main character. The overall main theme of the novel is the contrast between India's rise as a modern global economy and the working class people who live in crushing rural poverty. The protagonist chooses to rise up against this oppression in his own way and creates his own destiny in the end.

The novel takes the form of a series of letters written by Balram to Wen Jiabao, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, on the eve of his visit to India. Balram describes his rise from lowly origins to his current position as an entrepreneur in Bangalore, as well as his views on India's caste system and its political corruption.

The protagonist Balram lived in the village of Laxmangarh, a fictional village in Bihar (not the village of Laxmangarh in Rajasthan), a community deep in the wilderness of rural India. The son of a rickshaw-puller; his family is too poor for him to be able to finish school, despite being brilliant and being promised a scholarship he ends up as a driver who serves a rich man from his village, known simply as "The Stork", who live sin the big city of New Delhi.

The city serves as an eye-opener for Balram who, through these experiences, learns much about the world and later states that the streets of India provided him with all the education he needed. A stark novel that exposes the reality of the corruption and oppression that is commonplace in many small villages of India.

Some excerpts taken from: Wikipedia

The White Tiger on Amazon - Explore the India underneath the BPOs and IT hubs.

Amazon has the award-winning bestseller in stock starting from $7.88 for a new book and $3.11 for a used one.

Between the Assasinations - Another great book from Aravind Adiga!

A small town in the south of India is conceived and mapped with brilliant precision. Kittur on India's south-western coast, between Goa and Calicut, is a small, undistinguished everytown. Here, an illiterate Muslim boy working at the train station finds himself tempted by an Islamic terrorist; a Dalit bookseller is arrested for selling a copy of The Satanic Verses; a rich, spoiled, half-caste student decides to explode a bomb in college; a sexologist has to find a cure for a young boy with a mysterious disease that may be AIDS.

Between the Assassinations
Between the Assassinations

The book is a moral biography of an Indian town in the seven-year period between the assassinations of Prime Minister Gandhi and her son Rajiv. With the cartographer's precision and the novelist's humanity Aravind Adiga composes a group portrait of ordinary Indians in a time of extraordinary transformation. Keenly observed and finely detailed, Between the Assassinations is a triumph of the voice and imagination.

 

Midnight's Children is about India's transition from British colonialism to independence. The story is expressed through various characters and is contexted by actual historical events as with historical fiction.

Midnight's Children won both the 1981 Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the same year, followed by the "Booker of Bookers" Prize and the best all-time prize winners in 1993 and 2008 to celebrate the Booker Prize 25th and 40th anniversary. It is also the only Indian-authored novel on Time's list of the 100 best English-language novels since 1923.

The technique of magical realism finds liberal expression throughout the novel and is crucial to constructing the parallel to the country's history. Saleem Sinai is the protagonist and narrator. He is born at the exact moment that India becomes independent and is thus born with telepathic powers, as well as an enormous and constantly dripping nose. Shiva of the Knees, Saleem's evil nemesis, and Parvati, called "Parvati-the-witch," are two other children with notable gifts and roles in Saleem's story.

Saleem must also make his way through the world enduring the numerous wars that took ravaged the sub-continent post-independence. Saleem later becomes involved with the Indira Gandhi - proclaimed Emergency and her son Sanjay's "cleansing" of the Jama Masjid slum.Salim finds himself a political prisoner at one time, and finally is left to pick up the pieces of his life and move on.

Significant portions sourced from: Wikipedia

Midnight's Children on Amazon - Read about about India's transition from British colonialism to independence.

Amazon has Midnight's children in stock starting from $9.96 for a new copy and $0.04 for a used one.

Known as the Indian Wordsworth, Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, in 1934. An Indian author is British descent, his father was a tutor to Royal kids in Dehradun. He has received numerous awards for his works, including warded the Padma Shri in 1999 for contributions to children's literature. He now lives with his adopted family in Landour near Mussoorie.

His numerous short stories are woven beautifully with the Indian culture and fabric, and his prominent works include his debut novel Room on the Roof, Night Train at Deoli, Binya's Blue Umbrella, The India I love, The Cherry Tree, Time stops at Shamli, Ghost Stories from the Raj and many more. His simple way of writing combined with his entrancing descriptions of places in the Himalayan mountains make for wonderful bedtime reading to children.

Ruskin Bond on Amazon - You can view some of his wonderful works below:

POLL it!
POLL it!

Of these 5 novels, which would you be inclined to read?

See results

Please leave your comments :) - I'd be glad to know what you think!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I read a lot of motivational books in the past. I came across the life changing book titled, One Book for Life Success - it can change lives. To get up to 60% disccount, you may try at www.mydeals247.com or OneBookforLifeSuccess.com

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      UM ... I think this is a terrific lens. But it seems others are exposing my ignorance. From the passionate responses, clearly I don't know much about Indian writers. So I do hope by appreciating this "introduction" (i guess??) to Indian authors, I am not insulting those who are also worthy of high esteem. I shared this via Pinterest.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are not even the scratch of best Indian writers. Indian literature has formidable history right from Kalidas, Valmiki, Tulsidas, Munshi Prem Chand, Sharat Chadra, Bankim Chandra, Ravindra Nath Tagore, Gandhi, Nehru,Mahadevi verma Kabir, Suryakant tripathi, Nirala, Jayshankar Prasad nad many mores. This list of all time great is insult to all the great.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Quest of the Sparrows is a great and meaningful book. I found it one of the best books I have read. It answered to many of my questions of life through an interesting story that touches the heart. It's a must read for youth in these turbulent times of unrest.

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      officialrohan 4 years ago

      I loved the lens! Those were amazing. I too have a list of my, you can check that!

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      ArchaGhodge 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing such a beautiful list of books.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love your lens and have added it to my page as a featured lens. Indian writers = amazing!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Imagine being able to alter your world to bring back lost lovers, make someone sexually attracted to you,bring trust into your relationship, bring bad luck to others, lose weight,get your scammed money back, stop smoking, get a promotion or raise, or simply come into big money. All is possible with the astounding power of the High PROPHET OF GODDESS and his outstanding spell casting abilities. You have the power to change the future, change your destiny, and get the things out of life you need to bring success, luck, and happiness.E mail me on prophetofgoddess@yahoo.com or view my website www.prophetofgoddess.com if you have any life issues

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      :P

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: can i know novel name which is very makes us to improve positive thinking???

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      amazing ...i have read all the books ....it is absconding....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Even i love this books soooo much

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      my top 5 are 1. midnight children. 2. white tiger. 3.ins. Americans. 4.five point someone. 5. department of denials.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      2 state by chetan bhagat should be there in the list. Department of denials by anurag mathur is far better than chetan's 2 states.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      amazing ...i have read all the books ....it is absconding....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      2 states is a fantastic book, the love story is super cool in this book.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      2states is just awesum

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: awesum!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      two states .... the best book ever read

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: its...."i too had a love story" by Ravinder Singh

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: A walk to remember by nicholas sparks....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      TWO STATES- wow.....!!!

    • kovid7 profile image

      kovid7 5 years ago

      I've not yet read 'The Inscrutable Indians' ... Now that you people have rated it so high, I must read it!

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Both of my children liked Ruskin Bond and I have also read some of his stories

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i liked "2 states" by chetan bhagat a lot and the moral of story tells a lot to today's youth

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: i just read chetan ji s revolution2020......itxx juxx awsm:-):-):-)plzz give us dz sort of thingsss....

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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for an interesting lens! ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      plss suggest me the name of the book...in which grl nd boy love each other..nd girl suffering from cancer...nd the girl dies on very next day of their marriage

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ravinder singh's both books must be here , '' I too had a love story '' & '' Can love happen twice'' -- by far the best novels ............hats of ravinder singh...

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      the only one listed here that I've read so far is Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger which is excellent! I've read other Indian authors- Arundhati Roy, Kieran Desai, Anita Desai, more...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      chetan.............. is awesome.............. 5 point some one.. rockzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      chetan.............. is awesome.............. 5 point some one.. rockzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Searching for some good Indian authors novel and finally ends here. I have already read White Tiger and Chetan's both book but very curious to read Midnight children, and Adiga's second book.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Chetan bhagat is a great indian writer. I read all his books. All are amazing story. Very heart touchy and interesting.

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      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      Thanks for the beautiful lens. I have read some pages of The White Tiger.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks for the list. i have read rushdie but none of the others. i am curious about what are the great 20th/21st century books of india and was surfing the net and ended up here. thanks.

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      iPadGeek 5 years ago

      Great compilation! Thanks for the lens :)

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      anansigirls lm 6 years ago

      I am a big fan of Adiga but I have to say his books scare me more than any horror writer ever could do. Thank you for the informative lens.

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      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Your enthusiasm for these books really shines through your writing. Beautifully presented. Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I think your reading tastes are far different from mine! But I do appreciate a well organized and written lens.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like these authors, India has some really profound writers

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      sheriangell 6 years ago

      Stopping back by to drop off an Angel Blessing for this great lens. Featured on Pay It Forward - My Life As An Angel.

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      RebeccaE 6 years ago

      great stuff here, I do really want to read a fwe of these authors now, they sound wonderfully interesting, thanks for the great lens.

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      rahulbhardwaj 7 years ago

      Awesome stuff. I love '2 states..' and the 'Inscrutable Americans'. The is another book "I too had a love story." That too is a great read.

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      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @KarenHC: Thanks! :)

    • profile image

      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @indigoj: That's nice to hear! You should try a couple of these - I'm sure you'll love them too!

    • profile image

      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @aishu19: Yep they are :)

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      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @RecipeSquid: Thanks :)

    • profile image

      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @SacredCynWear: Well, you won't regret reading that one :D

    • profile image

      ArvindNarasimhan 7 years ago

      @sheriangell: Thank you, Shirl :)

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      These all sound like interesting books to read. Even though I picked "Inscrutable Americans" (just love the title) on the poll, I think I'd enjoy reading most of them. Good reviews!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Really interesting ideas here for my reading list. I love novels about India (especially those by Indian authors) but have not read any of these yet.

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      aishu19 7 years ago

      These look like amazing books!

    • RecipeSquid profile image

      RecipeSquid 7 years ago

      Great Lens! The books you've listed are quite amazing! My personal favourite though is the Inscrutable Americans!

    • SacredCynWear profile image

      SacredCynWear 7 years ago

      Great lens, I've not finished reading my latest novel, but Between Assassinations looks very interesting and will consider it. You write great reviews!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      You opened my eye to a whole new genre of books to read. Thanks! Well done lens.