Indian fiction is growing but was still "under appreciated", well-known writer and former UN Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor said on Friday.
Though there were a lot of talents in the country, not all were recongised, Tharoor said at a function in Kochi after releasing 'Maya', a novel by George Thundiparambil.
Set against the background of Fort Kochi, the book sketches the history of the first European trading post in India as seen through the eyes of Kaappiri, a slave brought to these shores by Vasco da Gama on his first voyage to the East in search of Christians and spices.
Describing the book as "fascinating", Tharoor said the novel was "compelling and worth reading".
"It is a compelling reading and flashback of past, an extremely well researched novel," he said.
Consul General of India in Dubai Venu Rajamony said writing in Malayalam was rich, but there were not many Keralites who wrote in English.
"Our education system does not focus on our own history, though we learn about US and Chinese history," he said. Such books would not only attract tourists to Kerala, but also scholars from other countries, he said.
The novelist, George Thundiparambil, is a native of Fort Kochi and works as a translator and editor in Germany.
'Maya' tells the adventures of Kaappiri, an African slave warrior uprooted from his homeland by Gama on his first voyage to Kozhikode.