World Book Day: Five Indian novels every bibliophile must try

  • Abhimanyu Kulkarni, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2015 20:14 IST

We often shower accolades on the likes of JK Rowling, Jeffrey Archer and Hillary Mantel, yet, most of us might not be aware of some of the literary gems that our country has produced. Indian writers have been making a mark at the global circuit for years. Be it winning the Booker Prize or the Pulitzer award - Indians have garnered attention in the past few decades.

Here is a list of Indian novels which every bibliophile must try:

1) A Suitable Boy: Vikram Seth

Over a thousand pages dedicated to an 'arranged marriage' - quite a task to not only write, but read too. Vikram Seth pulled off a miracle by producing a masterpiece that is not long and boring, but is intriguing and hooks you in. It was first published in 1993 and won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize Award the following year.

Set in the early 1950s, the story revolves around Mrs Rupa Mehra trying to find 'a suitable boy' for her daughter Lata. It introduces all its characters in great detail and weaves a tale slowly and steadily.

2) The Hungry Tide : Amitav Ghosh

Not only does Amitav Ghosh tells a compelling tale, he ensures it stimulates your visual senses through his words. Ghosh takes you around the Sunderbans in this novel and paints a picture of settlers who live in fear of drowning tides and man-eating tigers.

Piya Roy, a young marine biologist lands in this labyrinth in search of a rare species of river dolphins. Along with a local fisherman and translator, she embarks on a treacherous journey. Reading this book will be as good as taking a week-long visit to Sunderbans.

3) The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga

Arvind Adiga's debut novel “The White Tiger” won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. The tale revolves around the protagonist Balram Halwai's journey from a village to a successful businessman in Bangalore. It is a fast-gripping story which paints the class-difference in India beautifully.

Balram's father is a rickshaw puller. He works as a chauffeur in Delhi. He kills his employer and steals the money and starts his own business. Sounds interesting! Head over to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy.

4) Untouchable: Mulk Raj Anand

Bakha is a young man, proud and even attractive, yet he is an outcast in India's caste system: An Untouchable. Mulk Raj Anand binds us with this tale about Bakha, the toilet cleaner, grappling to find his purpose in life.

5) The God Of Small Things: Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things has as many critics as admirers. This book is one of the most internationally acclaimed books by an Indian author. The story is based in Kerala in the year 1969. Two semi-identical twins Esthappen and Rahel struggle to lead a normal childhood due to their dysfunctional family.

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