The latest installment of staff picks celebrates some classics of modern Indian fiction. It features some well-known authors such as Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh alongside some lesser-known titles such as Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhuri and English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee. The selection brings to life some of India’s many landscapes and cultures and its rich social and political history, often through intimate portraits of family and community life.
You can explore the imaginary town of Malgudi and become acquainted with its colorful residents, including a venerable tiger named Raja, in three enchanting works by R. K. Narayan. You can travel to 1970s Bombay and follow the challenges faced by Gustad Noble, a devoted family man whose life begins to unravel as he becomes embroiled in the corruption of the Indira Gandhi years in Such a Long Journey. You can also be transported to the foothills of the Himalayas, and follow the lives of a retired judge and his granddaughter who become targets of Nepalese insurgents fighting for independence, in The Inheritance of Loss.
Alternatively, if you prefer something more surreal, learn of the misadventures of Alu, a young master weaver from a small Bengali village who is falsely accused of terrorism in The Circle of Reason. Or travel from India to Spain with Moraes Zogoiby, the last surviving scion of a dynasty of Cochinese spice merchants and crime lords in Salman Rushdie’s family saga, The Moor’s Last Sigh.
There are many more titles besides. Each reveals something of the essence of India, past and present, and also something of the human experience. So whatever your tastes, dip in, try some Indian fiction today.
English, August: An Indian Story – Upamanyu Chatterjee
Freedom Song – Amit Chaudhuri
The House of Blue Mangoes – David Davidar
The Artist of Disappearance: Three Novellas – Anita Desai
The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
The Circle of Reason – Amitav Ghosh
The Hungry Tide – Amitav Ghosh
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Such a Long Journey – Rohinton Mistry
Malgudi Days – R. K. Narayan
The Printer of Malgudi – R. K. Narayan
A Tiger for Malgudi – R. K. Narayan
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie
Namaste to our Guest Blogger, Kirsty Dain, Circulation Assistant Extraordinaire.