Hotness 20 must read gems of Indian english literature

Hot Deal 20 must read gems of Indian english literature

411°
Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

Books come as life savers in every situation. A long journey, a sleepless night or a lazy day, a book can be your companion in every mood. Cicero said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”  And we couldn’t agree more. There is nothing stronger than the power of words.

It always takes a lot of time to decide which book to pick as there are thousands of options available. So save your time these are the list of 20 gems of Indian English literature that you must read-

1. Mahatma Gandhi – The Story Of My Experiments With The Truth

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has always been a very prominent figure in Indian history. From his unbeatable spirit to inspiring courage, from various controversies to his life as the father of the nation, Gandhi has always been an interesting, inspiring and impressive personality to read about.

If you want to know all about Gandhi and his journey, you cannot miss out on reading ‘My Experiments with the Truth’, his autobiography that covers his life from early childhood till 1921. The introduction mentions how Gandhi resumed writing at the insistence of a fellow prisoner at Yerwada Central jail. The autobiography was written as weekly journals and then compiled and published as a book. From his childhood memories, his experiments with eating meat, smoking, drinking and stealing to the demise of his father, the book captures many unknown instances of Gandhi’s life.

2. R.K. Narayan – The Guide

R.K Narayan is best known for stories based in and around the fictional village of Malgudi. The Guide is yet another story set up in Malgudi. R.K. Narayan won the Sahitya Akademi Award for the book in 1960. The Guide is the story of a tour guide who transforms himself into a spiritual Guru and then the greatest holy man of India. The book was also adapted as a film which starred the legendary actor Dev Anand.

3. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance

This is the second novel by Mistry published in 1995 and, like his first novel, Such A Long Journey, this novel too received wide acclaim across the globe. A fine balance revolves around various characters in Mumbai (then Bombay) during the time of turmoil and government emergencies. The story of friendship and love that progresses among the characters of the book will keep you hooked till the end.

4. Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children portrays the journey of India from British rule to independence and then partition. The book received a great response, winning the Booker Prize in 1981 and the “Booker of Bookers” Prize (commemorating the best among all the Booker winners) twice – in 1993 and 2008! The book travels to various parts of the country including Kashmir, Agra and Mumbai and incorporates many actual historic events. The book was also included in the List of 100 Best Novels of all time.

5. Jhumpa Lahiri – The Interpreter Of Maladies

This is a collection of nine stories by Lahiri. The stories are based on lives of Indians and Indian Americans who are lost between the two cultures. The book was published in 1999 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

6. Vikram Seth – A Suitable Boy

Published in 1993, this 1349-pages-long-book is one of the longest novels ever published in a single volume in the English Language. The story focuses on India post-partition as a family looks for a suitable boy to marry their daughter. Seth’s follow up book A Suitable Girl is expected to be released in 2016.

7. Arundhati Roy – God of Small Things

The debut novel by Roy, which took almost four years to finish is a story of fraternal twins and how small things make a large difference in people’s lives and behavior. The book was awarded the Booker Prize in 1997 and is Roy’s only published novel so far. The story narrated in third person is set in Kerala, and takes place in 1969.

8. Amitav Ghosh – The Glass Palace

This book won Grand Prize for Fiction at the Frankfurt International e-Book Awards in 2001. The story is set in Burma and focuses on various issues during the British invasion in 1885. The novel beautifully portrays the circumstances and incidents that made Burma, India and Malaya what they are today. This story of the empire, love and the changing society is definitely worth reading.

9. Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss

The book, written over a period of seven years after her first book, portrays different conflicts between various Indian groups, in the past and at present. It shows how people find the English lifestyle fascinating and also captures the perception of various opportunities in the US. The book won Desai various awards including the Man Booker Prize in 2006 and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.

10. Mulk Raj Anand – The Private Life of an Indian Prince

This book was published in 1953 and is considered as one of the Anand’s finest works. The story revolves around abolition of princely states in India, focusing on the life of a King and his fascination towards one of his mistresses. The story has some real life incidents which are beautifully converted into fiction.

11. Vikram Chandra – Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Red Earth and Pouring Rain won the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. The novel is inspired by the biography of James Skinner, a legendary nineteenth-century Anglo-Indian soldier. It also combines Indian myths and history into a story of three college kids. Written in the pattern of a story within a story, the book relates the tale of two characters and has a mythological touch with a modern subplot.

12. Suketu Mehta – Maximum City

This New York based writer was born in India and was raised in Mumbai in his early years. He penned down his experiences in Mumbai in his incredible work Maximum City, published in 2004, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. The book is a mix of travel writing, a journal, a socio-political analysis of people and wonders of Mumbai. It won the 2005 Vodafone Crossword Book Award. The Economist named Maximum City as one of its books of the year for 2004. It was also shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize.

13. Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali

This collection of poems by Tagore was originally published in Bengali in August 1910 and had 157 poems. The English version has 103 poems. The collection includes Tagore’s translation of 53 original Bengali poems and 50 other poems from his drama Achalayatan. The poems are mostly of a spiritual bent, though some of the pieces also have a hint of nature. This collection won the Nobel prize for Tagore in 1913.

14. Mitra Phukan – The Collector’s Wife

This book is set up against Assam’s insurgencies and is the first English novel to be published by a writer from North-East India. The story talks about the changes brought into the lives of people living in a small town of Assam by the militants. The plot revolves around the life of a girl who is married to a district collector. The natural surroundings and characters are described very well and give a great insight into the life of a small town in Assam.

15. Khushwant Singh – Train to Pakistan

Train To Pakistan is a compelling portrayal of the partition of India. The book touches upon the human angle and brings out the sense of reality and horror. The way Singh has described a village where a peaceful and loving community transforms into one driven by hatred and fear is remarkable. The description of the characters gives a lift to the book and makes it all the more interesting to read. Published in 1956, the book has also been translated into Tamil and has been adapted into a film with the same name.

16. Nayantara Sehgal – Rich Like Us

Rich Like Us is a political fiction novel set during a time of political and social change between 1932 and the mid-1970s. Sehgal won the 1986 Sahitya Akademi Award for English for this book. The plot runs along the parallel tracks of two very different women and how the “emergency” changed their lives. The backdrop is set at the time when Indira Gandhi declared martial law in India.

17. Anita Desai – In Custody

The book portrays the life of a Hindi teacher whose heart lies in Urdu poetry. A heart-touching and funny story takes a twist when the lead character, Deven, in an attempt to escape from his monotonous life, grabs an opportunity to interview India’s greatest Urdu poet , but it doesn’t turn out as expected. The book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1984.

18. Sunetra Gupta – The Glassblower’s Breath

The Glassblower’s Breath talks about the journey of a woman and her emotional, intellectual and sexual experiences. This story of a single day mixes fantasies, memories, dreams, ambitions, temptations and thoughts of a woman who marries a rich man, but struggles to conform to society’s diktats. The book was published in 1993, and received great reviews.

19. A. K. Ramanujan – The Collected Poems

The book is a collection of poems that includes poems out of the three books he published during his lifetime. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999 for this compilation. Ramanujan’s various books of Kannada poetry have been translated in English. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1976.

20. Nirad C. Chaudhuri, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian

This book made Chaudhari one of India’s greatest writers. Published in 1951, the book describes the life of the writer from the time he was born in 1897 in Bangladesh to his youth in Calcutta. The book is considered as Nirad’s masterpiece, beautifully capturing every minute detail of his surroundings and of modern India. It has received global acclaim over a period of time. Winston Churchill considered it one of the best books he had ever read. In 1998, it was included as one of the few Indian contributions in The New Oxford Book of English Prose.

source- magazine

36 Comments  |  
13 Dimers
Mswanson   wide   leaf 02
Deal Cadet
102
438
8

Really thanks for info abhi!!!!

Draw
Shopping Friend
1,197
57023
1181

A wide range is compiled above.
Young readers could have different choice from MKG, RNT etc.

Thanks, abhinews.
Hope more will keep coming in this thread.

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

The native, vernacular literature of North East India is very rich. Here is a list of 6 books that not only won accolades but also are literary landmarks.
It is indeed a bit difficult to lay your hands on or find information on the literary masterpieces of the North East, partly because of the oral tradition, partly because of the sheer diversity of languages and dialects, and partly because the north east is a frequently overlooked region in the country. North East India has over 230 different dialects. The seven sisters perhaps far surpass any other state in that kind of diversity.

The North East was a colonial construct, but like every other colonial episteme that at times pervades the sense of being an Indian, the episteme of the distinctive and different north east is sadly, fairly popular. There are three native languages from the north east that are recognized as official by the Indian State, namely, Assamese, Nepali and Manipuri. The rest are too diverse to be clubbed together and used by too small populations to be declared official. But they do exist with  unique significance and tradition that must not be overlooked.

Time and time again, people demonstrate a lack of knowledge towards the ‘north east’ but that is not just due to a lack of interest, but also a lack of resources and information in the ‘mainstream’. Even though a lot of Indian English literature from the north east has come out and become popular, there is still a haze over the classics in the native languages. In this short list, we would like to introduce a few classics from the region.

1. Deo Langkhui by Rita Chowdhury

The title literally means ‘The divine sword’ and it is based on the history of Tiwa Society, looking on their customs and traditions through a nuanced dexterity of characters. The protagonist is a woman, the queen of Pratapchandra, called Chandraprabha. The book gives a rare insight into the history of Assam through a social and cultural context, and goes through many generations of characters. It won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2008.

2. Datal Hatir Unye Khuwa Howdah (The Termite/Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker) by Indira Goswami

The book is originally written in Kamrupi language, which is a dialect of Assamese. The author is known more thrugh her pen name which is Mamoni Raisom Goswami or Mamoni Baideo. The book has won the Jnanpith but the author has also won the Sahitya Akademi for Mamare Dhara Tarowal Aru Dukhan Upanyasa. The book revolves around the protagonist Giribaala and the world around her which is based in 20th century Kamrup. The book also deals with the binary of liberalism and traditionalism.

3. Mrityunjaya by Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya

The title means ‘Conquerer of Death’ or ‘Immortal’. Bhattacharya was the first recipient of the Jnanpith from Assam in 1979. The author has been the President of Assam Sahitya Sabha for a year. The title is not to be confused with a novel of the same name in Marathi which discusses the life of Karna from the Mahabharata. The author, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, himself had witnessed the Barapathar derailment that took place in 1942 and this is a fictitious tale on the same, about a the plan to derail a train carrying military officers in the sublime valley of the mighty Brahmaputra river in Panikhaiti.

4. Boro Saheb Ongbi Sanatombi by M.K. Binodini Devi
The title crudely means ‘The Princess and her political Agent’ and is written in Manipuri. It won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1979. The author has also won the Padma Bhushan in 1976. She was a member of Manipur’s Royal family. The book is based on Manipur’s King and his interactions with the British. The book does take an excellent sneak peak at history, especially at the women and their ‘normal’ for royalty and otherwise.

 5. Basain by Lil Bahadur Chhetri

The book in Nepali is about the suffering of poor villagers at the hand of upper crust citizens. It was written in 1958. The background of the novel is set in the feudal social system that prevailed in Nepal prior to the 1951 political change. Lil Bahadur is a Gorkha writer from Assam and has won the the Sahitya Akademi award for his other work Brahmaputrako Chheu Chhau. Bisain was made into a Nepali film in 2005 and the English translation of the book, ‘Mountains Painted with Turmeric’, came out in 2008.

6. Naye Kshitij ki Khoj by Asit Rai

The author won the Sahitya Akademi award for the novel in 1981. The novel explores the theme where inhabitants of the Nepali region are forced to seek their fortune elsewhere. The title literally translates to ‘In search of new horizons or a moon’ which suits the theme of the book as well. The book is a work of art but is also a popular entertainer.

Know of any other gems of indigenous North East literature . plz comment in this thread https://cdn1.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Qxsrcpkipvemxa
Deal Lieutenant
156
4702
69

Good one, Bro !!! Vu https://i.imgur.com/5Sx2RYQ.gif

Couple love wallpaper 5
Deal Major
305
16038
100

Not a single title from Ruskin Bond https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_evil.gif

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217
@[email protected]@[email protected] wrote:

Not a single title from Ruskin Bond https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_evil.gif


bhai happy now https://cdn1.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Delhi is Not Far
Momentous things happen elsewhere, in the big cities of
Nehru’s India. This is a memorable story about small lives.

Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra

Fourteen engaging stories from one of India’s master story-
tellers Semi-autobiographical in nature, these stories span
the period from the author’s childhood to the present. We
are introduced, in a series of beautifully imagined and
crafted cameos, to the author’s family, friends, and various…

Ruskin Bond’s Green Book
When you relax in your small verandah or on a garden seat,
take this book with you and open any page. You will be well
rewarded. For, as the old proverb goes, ‘There is money to
be made in the market-place, but under the cherry tree there
is rest…’

Landour Days: A Writer’s Journey

The Best of Ruskin Bond

My Book of Favorite

In this anthology Ruskin Bond brings together stories and
extracts from some of the classic authors. Experience the
spirit of adventure in Hugh Walpole’s Fortitude and Jack
London’s Love of Life. Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby
and Joseph Conrad’s The secret Sharer will unfold the ways
of the…

Rain in the Mountains
He observes things that others would never see and makes
them come alive through a simple prose that comes from
genuine feeling. For those who seek a change of pace or a
renewal of faith in life, his writings are like a refreshing
mountain spring to bathe

Couple love wallpaper 5
Deal Major
305
16038
100

Thanks @DimerAbhi for adding Ruskin Bond in the list…he’s my fav author

Hamster
Entertainer
103
14790
367

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217
@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


bhai thoda contribution aap bhi dedo . Add yourself if you find any book in tjis thread https://cdn1.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

Removed dimers request

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

Dimers you are welcome to add any books in this thread https://cdn1.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Koala
Deal Cadet
123
398
12

1) The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga
2) The vendor of sweets by R.K. Narayan
3) I Too had a love story By Ravinder Singh ( Tragic and true love story, i know a friend of the girl in the novel ).
4) Collection of Short stories by Rabindranath Tagore (read english translation from college library, very touching and emotional stories, like premchand. even Checkhov would be proud of these.)

Whiterose22
Deal Lieutenant
30
3166
45

Wow, that was a good share.
My bent is mostly towards late 19th and early 20th century classics and also fantasy fiction. So, I haven’t read most of the books in the list. I have read Guide, few poems from Gitanjali, My Experiments with Truth. Also I have purchased Midnight’s Chilren sometime but didn’t have time to open it. Also I remember having watched ‘In Custody’ as a movie few years back (my classmate’s sister had a good collection of such art movies), but didn’t understand it properly at that time. But I quite remember the performance by Shashi Kapoor as superb, one of his greatest I should say. Should watch it again some other day as you have reminded from this list.

Whiterose22
Deal Lieutenant
30
3166
45
@[email protected]@[email protected] wrote:

Thanks @DimerAbhi for adding Ruskin Bond in the list…he’s my fav author


My fav too along with Mark Twain, R K Narayan. In fact I have nearly all the collection of Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan. I admire Kipling also, but sometimes I feel the language most difficult to understand, among all the authors that I have read and also there are references to many facts and words of those times, that it becomes even more difficult at times. I have collection of few Kipling’s books too.
The best one I found of Ruskin Bond is the Flight of Pigeons – it’s a real story of an English girl during 1857 revolt -facts written by herself. Ruskin Bond rewrote those facts into a story. This story was made into a movie called Junoon, again with Shashi Kapoor in lead.

I also love ghost stories and children’s stories of Ruskin Bond https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

White Mughals

It is Dalrymple’s fifth major book, and tells the true story of a love affair that took place in early nineteenth century Hyderabad between James Achilles Kirkpatrick and Khair-un-Nissa Begum.

Whiterose22
Deal Lieutenant
30
3166
45
@jaggydsharma415 wrote:

1) The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga
2) The vendor of sweets by R.K. Narayan
3) I Too had a love story By Ravinder Singh ( Tragic and true love story, i know a friend of the girl in the novel ).


Vendor of Sweets, great one

Whiterose22
Deal Lieutenant
30
3166
45
@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


Can’t believe you want Chetan Bhagat in this list https://cdn3.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_surprised.gif

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217

Glimpses of World History
a book written by Jawaharlal Nehru  in 1934, is a panoramic sweep of the history of humankind. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history written from various prisons in British India between 1930–1933. The letters were written to his young daughter Indira Gandhi, and were meant to introduce her to world history.

’The diary of a young girl ’ is superb book i read
Anne and other family members living annexe to escape from hitlers powers. How they spend thier days is very difficult which we cant imagine.

Images
suspended
387
9530
101

EDITED

This is what I feared. You killed the credibility of this thread. This thread is on my ignore list now.

Whiterose22
Deal Lieutenant
30
3166
45

I heard that Darlymple didn’t do much justice in his writing to this real story by adding his own imaginations. A masterpiece turned into an ordinary story. Not my own opinion though as I haven’t read it.
Btw, the residence still exists in Hyderabad which is converted into a college now – Kothi Women’s College.

I have read Discovery of India – Nehru was one of the greatest scholars with such great knowledge. Everyone who wants to know about India should read this book.

Images
suspended
387
9530
101
@DimerAbhi wrote:

@thrifty_indian happy now


Thank you but that was not necessary if that’s what was in demand. After all he is so popular because people actually read his writings.

Baby gif funny animation
Budding Star
200
14280
217
@thrifty_indian wrote:

@DimerAbhi wrote:

@thrifty_indian happy now


Thank you but that was not necessary if that’s what was in demand. After all he is so popular because people actually read his writings.


i didnt like chetan bhagat book too much that why i didnt add till now but dimer demand that why i post chetan bhagat book . https://cdn1.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_smile.gif

Hamster
Entertainer
103
14790
367
@whiterose wrote:

@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


Can’t believe you want Chetan Bhagat in this list https://cdn3.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_surprised.gif


image makeover. was looking for creating good terms from dimer/s who must be here out of 5,008,586 twitter fans of his. good deed of the day you know.. https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_wink.gif

Missing
Analyst
1
5806
162
@whiterose wrote:

@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


Can’t believe you want Chetan Bhagat in this list https://cdn3.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_surprised.gif


Edited for not reading ahead and thereby missing out on the sarcastic nature of the post.

Crook
suspended
113
2484
29
@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


your saying it with such a straight face and so matter of factly (no smileys) had me in splits. Yes! Mastram :p

yes, loss of hindi readership is a loss eventually. People hardly know, and much less relish or sink into classics from Munshi Premchand or a Mahashweta Devi or poets like Nirala. Mahadevi Verma, Bedhab Banarasi. Jaishankar Prasad.

Funny that people hardly recollect that Ram Manohar Lohia was also an equally good writer, besides being an eloquent orator. People remember Train to Pakistan, but don’t know about ‘Durr ke Padosi’ .



as for the other name you took sad .. the time says, ‘gems’ and ‘literature’. So that pretty much rules out english mastram

Missing
Analyst
1
5806
162

Raja Rao is another great writer who looks to hv evaded everyone’s radar.

Missing
Analyst
1
5806
162
@logout wrote:

@marketdimer wrote:

Ok i agree mastram would not qualify being hindi writer but where is chetan bhagat?


your saying it with such a straight face and so matter of factly (no smileys) had me in splits. Yes! Mastram :p

yes, loss of hindi readership is a loss eventually. People hardly know, and much less relish or sink into classics from Munshi Premchand or a Mahashweta Devi or poets like Nirala. Mahadevi Verma, Bedhab Banarasi. Jaishankar Prasad.

Funny that people hardly recollect that Ram Manohar Lohia was also an equally good writer, besides being an eloquent orator. People remember Train to Pakistan, but don’t know about ‘Durr ke Padosi’ .



as for the other name you took https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_rolleyes.gif .. the time says, ‘gems’ and ‘literature’. So that pretty much rules out english mastram


Just checked to find that Prem Chand’s works are now available in the Kindle Store(dirt cheap)and in Hindi too(I try to avoid translations as far as possible). I had his complete works in PDFbut…

Missing