Top 10 Most Famous Novels by Indian Authors

Indian books are popular worldwide because they use a particular form of narrative, and in a country as large and diverse as India, there is always a story to be told. The best way to learn about India and its people is through its books. There are a number of award-winning and accomplished authors who have weaved their work of fiction through magical words. Here are some of the top-selling books by Indian Authors.

1. The God of Small Things 

The God of Small Things 

Arundhati Roy’s work, The God of Small Things, is deep and powerful, creating a vivid picture of Kerala, India, with its strong family connections and strict social rules. This novel was Arundhati Roy’s first attempt that earned her Booker Prize in 1997 when it became very popular all over the world because of its deeply moving narrative style. In her book, Roy effectively guides us through the world of two siblings/cousins, her brother, and sister, who grow up together in a family setting that is complex against the backdrop of India’s severe caste system and political instability. The God of Small Things is more than just a family story; it’s a meditation on the intricacies of human relationships and the subtle ways in which cultural standards mold us. It’s a compelling investigation of how seemingly inconsequential details may have far-reaching consequences in our lives.

2. Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children

Written by Salman Rushdie, this seminal work in postcolonial literature won the Booker Prize in 1981 and the Booker of Bookers Prize in the year 1993 and 2008. This novel is both a compelling family saga and an extraordinary depiction of a large continent and its people and is a superb embodiment of universal human comedy. Even after 25 years of being published, the book still serves as an exceptional work of fiction, by one of the greatest authors.

3. The Blue Umbrella

The Blue Umbrella

Ruskin Bond’s “The Blue Umbrella” is one of the ten must-read novels by top Indian authors in English. The best thing about this story is that, it has a delightful and touching story that happens in the tranquil hills of Himachal Pradesh, India. Published in 1974, this brief and entertaining tale has since become a classic in children’s literature, enjoyed by readers of all ages. Bond, famed for his simple yet meaningful storytelling, tells the story of Binya, a young girl from rural India.

4. Train to Pakistan

Train to Pakistan

Khushwant Singh’s book Train To Pakistan vividly depicts the partition of India. The story delves into the human experience while emphasizing a sense of fear and reality. It’s incredible how Singh shows a village where a loving and peaceful community devolved into one driven by fear and hatred. The character descriptions boost the writing and make it more enjoyable to read. The book was originally published in 1956 and has since been adapted into a film and a Tamil translation.

5. A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance

As one of the top ten must-read novels by top Indian authors in English, Rohinton Mistry’s “A Fine Balance” is a fascinating story that explores the complexity and turbulence of the country during the period of political unrest, during the 1970s. In this environment, the novel’s four key characters, the widowed seamstress Dina Dalal, the college student Maneck Kohlah, and the two tailors Ishvar and Omprakash Darji explore themes of hope, despair, and the human spirit’s ability to persevere.

6. The Palace of Illusions

The Palace of Illusions

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s ‘The Palace of Illusions’ expertly reinterprets the ancient Mahabharata through Draupadi’s eyes, making it a standout among Indian authors. This work masterfully conveys Draupadi’s innermost struggles, emotions, and opinions, providing a new, perceptive perspective on the epic’s traditional narrative. Divakaruni’s brilliant narrative vividly brings ancient India to life while including universal themes such as love, sacrifice, and destiny.

7. Sacred Games

Sacred Games

This superb thriller delves deep into Bombay’s criminal underground as Sikh officer Sartaj Singh pursues the notorious villain Ganesh Gaitonde. Sacred Games is a magnificent investigation of politics, history, and corruption, complete with policemen caressing fine handlebar mustaches, lapdogs thrown from balconies, and villains with bulging, bloodshot eyes. Conceptualized and written by Vikram Chandra, this masterpiece was published in the year 2006, and is now a very popular series on Netflix.

8. A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth’s post-independence novel A Suitable Boy revolves around the story of Lata, whose mother wants her to marry A Suitable Boy. After we start reading the book, it literally has a lot of things to tell us and indeed transforms into a deep ocean of knowledge. It covers people, social norms, religion, the arts, history, love, and skills. In the novel, two tales are told concurrently. It also chronicles the story of an unusual romance. The book has sold millions of copies worldwide, making it the longest novel written in English by an Indian author.

9. The Great Indian Novel

The Great Indian Novel

In his satirical masterwork, Shashi Tharoor cleverly retells the Hindu epic Mahabharata against the backdrop of the Indian Independence Movement and the turbulent decades that followed. This work distinguishes modern Indian writing as an exciting and instructive read. Tharoor expertly transforms significant people from India’s freedom movement and political landscape into characters from the 2,000-year-old epic, creating fascinating similarities between mythology and modern reality.

10. The Guide

The Guide

R.K. Narayan is best known for his stories set in and around the imaginary village of Malgudi. The Guide is yet another narrative set in Malgudi. The government of India congratulated him for his work with the Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1960. This book talks about the life of a tour guide who later transforms into a spiritual guru. The story also unfolds, as to how he transforms into one of the greatest man in India. The book was also turned into a film, which starred the great actor Dev Anand.

Famous novels by Indian authors showcase the richness and diversity of Indian literature, which offers deep insights into different aspects of Indian life, culture, and history. India’s best novels are really worth reading. Because they not only talk about our motherland, but about its people and their emotions.

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