Best Indian Novels of All Time


Best Indian Novels of All Time

Many people think that Novels written by Indian Authors are not at par with the International standards, that they somehow lack the intellectual prose writing ability or lack of plot. These people are looking at the wrong books.

Here is a list of Some of the best books by Indian Authors who are Internationally recognized for their work, some have won international accolades and some have even been in International bestselling Lists.

1. The Lowland

17262100This book was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize, it is Lahiri’s second novel and fourth book.

The book is based in Calcutta, India, where two brothers Udayan and Subhash Mitra, who were really close and grew up together. After completing their school, both get admitted to different colleges, but as the colleges are near to their home, they continue to stay together.

But here their paths diverge. Udayan ends up as a part of the Naxalite group and becomes very passionate about the movement. But Subhash does not share his passion, and chooses to move to America for further studies.

The next part of the book deals with how Udayan’s extremism affected those around it, and how Subhash had to deal with the consequences of his brother’s choices.

[schema type=”book” name=”The Lowland” author=”Jhumpa Lahiri” publisher=”Knopf” pubdate=”2013-05-01″ isbn=”0307265749″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

2. Midnight’s Children

download15th August, 1947, at the stroke of Midnight, when one country was being divided in two parts, two boys were born, one rich and one poor. But the maid switched them at birth. And so Saleem Sinai, born to a poor household, finds himself growing up in a big household, even Prime Minister Nehru sent him a letter congratulating him on his birth. While Saleen, born in a rich household, finds himself in the poorest of the poor households.

Saleem’s finds his life story to be parallel to India’s story. The ups and downs of his life and that of his family is traced along with that of incidences happened in India. Salman Rushdie cleverly infuses both macro and micro view.

The book traces life of Saleem’s family as India fights for Independence, gets Independence and deals with the Independence.

Read the full review here:

[schema type=”book” name=”Midnight’s Children” author=”Salman Rushdie” publisher=”Vintage” pubdate=”2013-01-03″ isbn=”0099582074″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

3. The White Tiger

white-tiger-41This debut novel by Aravind Adiga was the winner of the 40th Man Booker Prize.

Set in Bangalore, India, this is a story of Balram Halwai, who strives to survive poverty, casteism and corruption that is present in Modern India.

Written in the first person narrative, we get to witness the mind of a murderer in all its amoral, cynical, endearing but unrepentant glory.

A novel describing how a poor villager reaches the peak of Indian business culture by the sheer power of his ambition.

[schema type=”book” name=”The White Tiger” author=”Aravind Adiga” publisher=”Free Press” pubdate=”2008-04-22″ isbn=”1416562591 ” ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

4. The Guide

images (6)This is one of those rare books that make you feel good about yourself and your life.

Written in easy English, this is a story of Raju, a tour guide who, by a twist of fate becomes spiritual guide against his wishes.

In a small town of South India, Raju falls in love with Rosie, who is neglected by her husband Marco. Marco hates that Rosie should dance, but encouraged by Raju, Rosie starts her career as a dancer.

They soon move in together, and Raju becomes Rosie’s stage Manager. He devotes his life to making Rosie famous, but makes many mistakes in the process. He gets jailed for two years, due to a case of Forgery.

Post his jail term, he finds refuge in a temple, where he is mistaken for a saint. And to hide his tainted past, Raju starts pretending he is indeed a saint. In this process, he unknowingly becomes a beacon of hope for many people.

The inner turmoil of Raju’s heart is excellently portrayed in the book, a part of this is seen in this scene from the Guide Movie adaptation:

[schema type=”book” name=”The Guide” author=” R.K. Narayan” publisher=” Penguin Classics” pubdate=”2006-08-29″ isbn=”0143039644″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

5. Room on the Roof

download (2)This winner of John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in the year 1957, was written by Ruskin Bond when he was seventeen.

The book is about a sixteen year old Anglo-Indian boy, Rusty, who lives in the quaint town of Dehradun. He finds his guardian, Mr. Harrison to be extremely strict. so he runs away to live with his Indian friends.

This moving tale of love and friendship that plagues every young mind, as they struggle to understand the complexities of friendship, attraction and love.

[schema type=”book” name=”Room on the Roof” author=”Ruskin Bond” publisher=”Penguin Books” isbn=”0140239596″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” ]

6. The Namesake

tumblr_kwqbt5eTX61qasn2xo1_400A debut novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake, was originally published in The New Yorker as a Novella (i.e. a story that is larger to a short story, but not quite as large as a full Novel). It was then developed as a full Novel. The story revolves around Calcutta, Boston and New York to explore a range of human emotions.

A Bengali Couple migrates to the United States and face the biggest cultural shock. By a series of unfortunate events, their son’s pet name Gogol, becomes his official name.

The son grows up struggling not only with his unfortunate name, but also with his identity, as he tries to fit in in The United States with the traditional Indian family values.

[schema type=”book” name=”The Namesake” author=”Jhumpa Lahiri” publisher=”Mariner Books” pubdate=”2014-09-01″ isbn=”0618485228″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

7. Palace of Illusions

palaceMahabharata is an Indian epic depicting the lives of the five Pandava Princes and the hundred Kaurava Princes. The five Pandavas had to marry Draupadi, also known as Panchali.

Palace of Illusions, tells the tale of Panchali. The woman who thought she was marrying a great warrior, instead got married to five men.

Born from fire with a legacy of changing the course of history, this book is her take on the events that led up to and after the epic war of Kurukshetra.

[schema type=”book” name=”Palace of Illusions” author=”Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni ” publisher=”Doubleday” pubdate=”2008-02-12″ isbn=”0385515995″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

8. The God Of Small Things

the-god-of-small-thingsThe God Of Small Things is the debut novel of Arundhati Roy, it took four years to compile.

In India, we have a whole lot of rules when it came to Love. The society tells the people who to love, how to love and how much to love.

The book is about two fraternal teens who are struggling with understanding the love laws. They discover that it is the small things and incidences that make a huge impact on people’s lives.

Narrated in a third person perspective, strong themes like Indian History and Politics, class relations, cultural tensions, social disruption, forbidden love and betrayal are portrayed throughout the story.

[schema type=”book” name=”The God Of Small Things” author=”Arundhati Roy” publisher=”Random House (NY)” isbn=”0679457313″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

9. Train To Pakistan

train-to-pakistan1Train to Pakistan recounts the partition of India on August 1947. The book differs from others of its time in a way that instead of recounting just the political events, Singh dug a little deeper and focused on human dimensions.

How neighbors turned into blood thirsty enemies, and horror of the things surrounding them hits people and turns their lives upside down. People from both sides had to leave everything they knew to travel to another country, praying that they reach their side safely.

A book of relatively short length, it has detailed characterizations. And each character has a different social standing and lookout, thus showing not just one person’s understanding, but how things escalated on a more social level.

Watch the movie trailer here:

[schema type=”book” name=”Train To Pakistan” author=”Khushwant Singh” publisher=”Grove Press” isbn=”0802132219″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]

10. Malgudi Days

rk_narayans_malgudi_days_volume_hindi_dvd_video_icl082Malgudi Days is a nineteen short stories’ collection by reputed author, R. K. Narayan.

Set in a quaint, fictional town of Malgudi in South India, each story deals with a facet of life from the lives of people living in Malgudi.
From the sweets maker to the Teacher, Kids to elderly gentlemen, every story is intricately designed.
A Television series was made of the same name was made, which can be viewed here:

[schema type=”book” name=”Malgudi Days” author=”R.K. Narayan” publisher=”Penguin Classics” pubdate=”2006-08-29″ isbn=”0143039652 ” ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]



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