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Five of your favourites from Indian literature
fireshowers wrote in indianlit

Just that. Put up a list of five books you've enjoyed the most from the range of Indian literature. I haven't read much myself, and I'd love to know what others have read and would wholeheartedly recommend.

Five books. Any language. If you're mentioning a book written in a regional language, it'll be nice to add if you've read it in the original or in translation, but there's no hard and fast rule.


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okay, i'll start. in no particular order:

sea of poppies, amitav ghosh.
the moor's last sigh, salman rushdie.
gora (original in bengali), rabindranath tagore.
the room on the roof, ruskin bond.
herbert (original in bengali), nabarun bhattacharya.

i'm not including serieses and poetry, because there's no way i can keep the selection to five if i do!

Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh.
Cuckold , Kiran Nagarkar
Great Indian Novel, Shashi Tharoor
The Last Mughal, William Darlymple
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

These are some which come to mind......

1. The Inheritance of Loss (Kiran Desai)
2. The Space Between Us (Thrity Umrigar)
3. The Death of Vishnu (Manil Suri)
4. The Palace of Illusions (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)
5. The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) ---still working my way through this one, but love it.

Sacred Games, by Vikram Chandra (I like his other books as well)
The Toss of a Lemon, by Padma Viswanathan
Haround and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie (I also really liked The Enchantress of Florence)
God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri

I also really enjoyed Sea of Poppies, Animal's People, The Wasted Vigil, Bitter Sweets, and Brick Lane.

Ooh! And Death of Vishnu. Forgot that one.

so i'm not the only person who thinks interpreter of maladies was a better book than the namesake? :D

have you read lahiri's latest? any opinion?

I own The Namesake, but I haven't read it yet. Some day I'll see the movie too!

I really liked her newest one. The final story (it's really almost more of a novella, and is by far the longest thing in there) absolutely broke my heart, but in the best possible way. I was actually welling up writing this, and I read the book about a year ago; I love the way her writing stays with me.

oh i loooved interpreter of maladies. forgot about it since i haven't read it in ages.

also, to the OP: haroun and the sea of stories is one of my favorite books ever. i always loan it to people who say they "don't like" salman rushdie.

That was the very first thing of his I ever read, and I absolutely adored it. I read it because some of my theatre friends were involved with a staged production of it, which I saw and loved; then I bought the book and loved it too. :D

whoa, who does not like salman rushdie? he's difficult to read sometimes and he rambles away a fair bit, but at the end of the day he's always a treasure!

i like haroun also. read it when i was in school, and then "studied" it as a part of a postcolonial literature course at college. it's one of the best-written y/a books ever (considering the fact that the best-written y/a is never really only y/a). but i still like rushdie's "adult" books better. that man has a profound sense of background and culture that he just casually flings around in a let-me-tell-you-a-story style. try writing like him and you'll notice how strong a difference it makes!

I loved The Enchantress of Florence too, and I own Midnight's Children, but have not read it yet. (I'm a librarian, so my to-read piles and lists are outrageously massive...but I'll get to it soon!)

I totally agree about YA. There's some fantastic stuff that's being published these days, as well as remarkable things from the past, and it makes me sad that so many adults turn up their noses at it because it's "for kids." I'd argue that much of it is waaaay better than your average "adult" book. /rant

I'm so excited about all of these books... I have a feeling I'll be bookmooching some of these.

In no particular order...

Breast Stories- Mahasweta Devi
1084's Mother - Mahasweta Devi
Sea of Poppies Amitav Ghosh
Shadow Lines- Amitav Ghosh
A Fine Balance- Rohinton Mistry
Family Matters- Rohinton Mistry

Oh…did you say 5?

1. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
2. The Alchemy of Desire - Tarun J Tejpal
3. Something Barely Remembered - Susan Visvanathan
4. The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh
5. God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

Writings from India

Five from bests in Hindi :(All read and appreciated personally)
1/Samskriti ke Char Adhyaya by Ramdhari Singh Dinakar (non-fiction) 2/Gunahom Kaa Devataa by Dharmaveer Bharati(popular romace fiction)3/ Godan by Premchand (Acclaimed Novel)
4/ Shekhar Ek Jeewanee by Agyeya ( Novel) 5/ Sansad se Sadak by Dhoomil (Poems)
There is a lot to recommand, but five quoted here are not only popular but are acclaimed high as well in literary fields.

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