Are you looking for some great books to read? Look no further than this list of 50 books written by Indian authors that you must read! From classics to contemporary, fiction to non-fiction, this list has something for everyone. Delve into the rich culture and history of India through these diverse and captivating reads. So, grab a cup of chai, get cozy, and let's explore the literary world of India together.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: This is a novel that explores themes of love, caste, and family through the story of two fraternal twins growing up in Kerala, India. It won the Booker Prize in 1997 and is known for its poetic language and non-linear narrative.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: This novel won the Booker Prize in 2008 and is a satirical take on India's class struggle through the story of a servant-turned-entrepreneur in modern-day India.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: This novel tells the story of four characters whose lives become intertwined during the Indian Emergency in the 1970s. It explores themes of caste, religion, and social class and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1996.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: This novel follows the lives of several characters who were born at the stroke of midnight on India's Independence Day and have supernatural powers. It won the Booker Prize in 1981 and is known for its use of magical realism and historical allegory.
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh: This novel is set during the Partition of India in 1947 and tells the story of a small village caught in the midst of violence between Hindus and Muslims. It is known for its portrayal of the human cost of violence and its exploration of communal tensions.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: This collection of short stories won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and explores themes of love, identity, and belonging among Indian immigrants and their children in the United States.
The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh: This novel is a family saga that explores themes of nationalism, identity, and memory through the story of two families in India and Bangladesh. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989.
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai: This novel tells the story of an Indian judge living in the Himalayas and his granddaughter living in New York City. It explores themes of identity, post-colonialism, and the struggles of immigration. It won the Booker Prize in 2006.
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: This novel is a retelling of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, from the perspective of its female protagonist, Draupadi. It explores themes of gender, power, and the complexities of relationships.
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi: This novel is the first in a trilogy that retells Hindu mythology with a modern twist. It follows the story of Shiva, a mortal who discovers he is the prophesied savior of the land of Meluha. It is known for its blend of mythology and science fiction.
Serious Men by Manu Joseph: This satirical novel follows the story of a lower-caste Tamil Brahmin named Ayyan Mani, who works as a scientific assistant to a Brahmin astronomer at a prestigious research institute in Mumbai. Ayyan concocts an elaborate scheme to make his young son a famous mathematical prodigy, but things don't go as planned. The novel explores themes of caste, ambition, and the struggle for upward mobility in contemporary India.
The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay: This debut novel is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex relationship between an Indian woman named Shalini and her mother, who dies unexpectedly. In an attempt to understand her mother's life and death, Shalini travels to a remote village in the Himalayas where her mother once spent time. The novel is a meditation on grief, loss, and the search for meaning in an uncertain world.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy: This novel is set against the backdrop of India's tumultuous history from the 1970s to the present day. The story follows a cast of characters, including a transgender woman named Anjum, as they navigate the complexities of love, politics, and identity in a rapidly changing country. The novel is a powerful exploration of the human condition and the enduring search for justice and compassion.
The God of Small Things by Shashi Tharoor: This novel is a family saga set in Kerala, India, and explores the lives of a pair of fraternal twins, Rahel and Estha, and their extended family. The novel covers a range of themes, including love, betrayal, caste, and politics, and is renowned for its lyrical prose and inventive storytelling.
The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor: This satirical novel reimagines India's struggle for independence as a sprawling epic, drawing on both Indian mythology and the events of modern Indian history. The novel is a biting critique of the political and social structures of contemporary India and is lauded for its wit, creativity, and insightful commentary.
The Palace of Illusions by Kavita Kane: This novel is a retelling of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, from the perspective of its female characters. The story follows Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandavas, as she navigates the complexities of love, loyalty, and duty in a world dominated by men. The novel is a powerful feminist reimagining of one of India's most beloved stories.
The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan: This romantic comedy follows the story of Zoya Singh Solanki, an advertising executive who becomes the good luck charm for the Indian cricket team during the World Cup. The novel is a delightful romp that combines elements of sports, politics, and celebrity culture in modern India.
The Girl in Room 105 by Chetan Bhagat: This thriller is set against the backdrop of the Indian political system and follows the story of a young man named Keshav who becomes embroiled in a web of conspiracy and intrigue after the woman he loves is murdered. The novel is a fast-paced page-turner that explores the darker side of contemporary Indian society.
Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi: This is the first book in the Ram Chandra series, a retelling of the Indian epic, the Ramayana. The novel follows the story of Ram, the prince of Ayodhya, as he journeys to fulfill his destiny as the savior of the world. The novel is a compelling mix of mythology, politics, and adventure that has captivated readers around the world.
Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi: This novel tells the story of two people - Chanakya, an ancient Indian strategist, and Gangasagar, a modern-day political strategist - who use their intelligence and wit to manipulate political events in India.
Half Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat: This romance novel tells the story of Madhav and Riya, who meet in college and fall in love. However, Riya is hesitant to commit to a relationship, leading Madhav to ask her to be his "half girlfriend."
2 States: The Story of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat: This novel tells the story of Krish and Ananya, who come from different states in India and fall in love. However, their families have trouble accepting their relationship due to cultural differences, leading to conflict and drama.
The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi: This novel tells the story of a man who is searching for the truth about his identity, which is intertwined with the history of Jesus Christ and the Rozabal shrine in Kashmir.
The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi: This thriller novel follows a history professor who is on the run from the police after being accused of a series of murders related to the ancient Indian text, the Mahabharata.
The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi: This novel tells the story of two men, Arvind and Arbaaz, who rise from poverty to become powerful businessmen in India. However, their rivalry and ambition lead to conflict and violence.
One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat: This novel tells the story of Radhika, a successful investment banker who must choose between three men in her life while also navigating societal expectations of women in India.
The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi: This is the third book in the Shiva Trilogy, a series that reimagines the Hindu god Shiva as a mortal man. In this book, Shiva must save the world from destruction by defeating a powerful enemy.
The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi: This is the second book in the Shiva Trilogy, where Shiva is on a quest to uncover the truth about the mysterious Nagas, a group of people with serpent-like features who have been blamed for a series of terrorist attacks.
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi: This is the first book in the Shiva Trilogy, where Shiva discovers the truth about his destiny as the savior of the people of Meluha, an ancient civilization that is facing a crisis.
The Liberation of Sita by Volga: This is a feminist retelling of the Ramayana from the perspective of Sita, the wife of the hero Rama. In this novel, Sita tells her own story and challenges traditional patriarchal interpretations of the Ramayana.
The White Umbrella: Indian Political Thought from Manu to Gandhi by Jaideva Singh: This book is a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of political thought in India, from ancient times to the nationalist movement. The author explores the political ideas of prominent figures like Manu, Kautilya, and Gandhi, and traces the development of Indian political theory from its origins to the present day.
The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen: This book by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is an exploration of the concept of justice and its application in contemporary society. Sen argues that a just society is one that values both individual freedoms and social equality, and he examines various theories of justice from Western and non-Western philosophical traditions.
The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen: This book is a collection of essays by Amartya Sen that explore the rich intellectual history of India, from ancient times to the present day. The author argues that India's tradition of open and diverse intellectual inquiry has been a key factor in its success as a democracy.
An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor: This book by renowned Indian politician and author Shashi Tharoor is a scathing critique of the British Empire's impact on India. Tharoor argues that the Empire's legacy has been one of exploitation and impoverishment, and he calls for a reevaluation of India's history in light of this legacy.
Being Indian: Inside the Real India by Pavan K. Varma: This book by noted Indian diplomat and author Pavan K. Varma explores the complex and diverse realities of contemporary India. Drawing on his extensive experience living and working in India, Varma provides a nuanced and insightful portrait of Indian society, culture, and politics.
India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha: This book is a comprehensive history of post-independence India, tracing the country's evolution from a British colony to the world's largest democracy. The author explores India's complex political and social landscape, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that have shaped the country's trajectory.
No Full Stops in India by Mark Tully: This book by veteran BBC journalist Mark Tully provides a unique perspective on India's post-independence history. Tully draws on his extensive experience reporting on India to offer a nuanced and insightful analysis of the country's politics, culture, and society.
India Unbound by Gurcharan Das: This book is a seminal work on India's economic development since independence. The author explores the various factors that have contributed to India's emergence as a global economic power, and he offers a compelling vision for India's future as a democratic and prosperous nation.
The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma by Gurcharan Das: This book by noted author and thinker Gurcharan Das explores the concept of dharma, which is central to Indian philosophy and culture. The author draws on a range of sources to provide a nuanced and insightful analysis of dharma's role in shaping individual behavior and society as a whole.
The Difficulty of Being a Dog by Roger D. Abrahams: This book is a fascinating exploration of the role of animals in Indian culture and society. The author explores the various ways in which dogs have been valued and understood in different contexts, and he offers a unique perspective on the relationship between humans and animals in India.
The Difficulty of Being Good: The Subtle Art of Dharma by Gurcharan Das: In this book, Gurcharan Das examines the moral dilemmas that are faced by individuals in modern society through the lens of the ancient Indian concept of dharma. The book explores how dharma can be applied to contemporary ethical problems and how it can help individuals to lead better and more fulfilling lives.
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta: In this non-fiction book, Suketu Mehta explores the city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and its complexities through a mix of personal anecdotes, interviews, and historical research. He delves into the city's rich history, its social and cultural diversity, and its many contradictions, offering a fascinating insight into one of India's most dynamic and complex cities.
The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore by Manu S. Pillai: This book offers a detailed and engrossing history of the Travancore dynasty, which ruled over the southern Indian state of Kerala for centuries. The book explores the intricate political and social dynamics of the dynasty, its relationship with the British Empire, and its eventual decline.
The Last White Hunter: Reminiscences of a Colonial Shikari by Donald Anderson: This memoir by the late Donald Anderson offers a vivid and compelling account of his life as a professional hunter in colonial India. Anderson hunted big game for wealthy clients, including members of the royal family, and his book offers a fascinating insight into a vanished way of life.
Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts by P. Sainath: This book is a powerful and moving account of the lives of people living in some of India's poorest districts. P. Sainath, an acclaimed journalist, spent years traveling through rural India and documenting the struggles of ordinary people. The book highlights the poverty, inequality, and corruption that afflict many parts of India, and serves as a powerful call to action.
Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India by Santosh Desai: In this witty and insightful book, Santosh Desai explores the cultural and social landscape of modern India. Drawing on his experience as a marketing executive, Desai offers a unique perspective on the country's rapidly changing consumer culture and the contradictions that lie at its heart.
The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie: This charming novel tells the story of a cat who lives in the household of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. The cat, named HHC (His Holiness's Cat), is a keen observer of human behavior and provides a humorous and poignant insight into life in the Tibetan community in exile.
Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto: This critically acclaimed novel is a moving and intimate portrait of a family dealing with mental illness. Set in Mumbai, the book tells the story of Em, a mother with bipolar disorder, and her family's struggles to cope with her illness.
The Red Sari: A Novel by Javier Moro: This novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born politician who became one of India's most influential figures. The book explores Gandhi's personal and political journey, her relationship with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, and her eventual rise to power.
The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh: This imaginative and complex novel blends elements of science fiction, historical fiction, and mystery. The book explores the story of Ronald Ross, the British doctor who discovered the mosquito-borne transmission of malaria, and the various characters, real and fictional, whose lives intersect with his. The book is set against the backdrop of colonial India and offers a fascinating exploration of the country's history and culture.