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Greatest Indian Novels: David Davidar's list

David Davidar


Talking about his reasons for the choice of books, David Davidar says, "My reasons for choosing these ten contemporary novels by Indian writers (not PIOs or OCIs) should be obvious as most of them have stood the test of time and have been acclaimed for the usual reasons - originality, style, memorable characters and so on.

All the books on this list are of our time because it is not possible to pick just ten great books from hundreds of years of creative endeavour. I've edited or published virtually all these writers and think their books easily rank with the very best novels I've read.

Incidentally, I must say that the list of books I've chosen, in no particular order, is simply one of exceptionally accomplished works of fiction. I am totally against any ranking of creative work because the making of great novels is not a zero-sum-game and there are no winners and losers in this business only good books and awful books."

Davidar's list:
1. Train To Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

2. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

3. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

4. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

5. The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor

6. The Trotter-nama by Irwin Allan Sealy

7. The Legends of Khasak by OV Vijayan

8. The Guide by RK Narayan.

9. Samskara by UR Ananthamurthy

10. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

David Davidar has been a publisher for a quarter century, during which time he has held several top publishing jobs and published some of the world's most distinguished authors. He is the author of three published novels, The House of Blue Mangoes (2002), a New York Times Notable Book, which was published in sixteen countries and became a bestseller in six of them, The Solitude of Emperors (2007), which was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and Ithaca (2011). In May 2011, he founded Aleph Book Company, a literary publishing firm, in partnership with Rupa Publications India.

From HT Brunch, June 22

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