Indian Literature and the Arts discussion

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What are some favorite fiction books set in India, written in English

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Want suggestions for a book club to discuss. We already liked Beneath the Marble Sky, Namesake (actually takes place in U.S.)


message 2: by Louisa (new)

Louisa Keys | 1 comments A Fine Balance by Rohan Mistry...one of the best!


message 3: by Amrita (new)

Amrita (mango_bomber) | 1 comments There are countless books in my fave list. I am a sucker for contemporary Indian fiction.. I savoured the slow pace of "the inheritence of loss" by kiran desai. even though anita's(anita desai, her mom) prose far outreaches hers, yet, the inheritence... was a good experience. Right now I'm on "Luck" by Dhruva Hazarika, a collection set in Assam. I particularly remember this collection of stories called "Incantations" by Anjana Appachana. Also "Poona Factory" by Farrukh Dhondy, to name a very few.


message 4: by Anant (new)

Anant Mishra | 1 comments Vikram Seth mastery in A Suitable Boy,
Also Sehgal's take in Rich like Us


message 5: by Ram (new)

Ram | 145 comments Mod
R.K. Narayan's books are delightful village tales set in rural India. Also Ruskin Bond - "Time Stops at Shamli' and other books.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Anant, I also loved A Suitable Boy.
I've just finished The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi which I also think has firmly put itself in my favourites list.


message 7: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments I loved Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts


message 8: by Tara (new)

Tara (goodreadscomtara_lynn_masih) | 21 comments Carmen wrote: "Anant, I also loved A Suitable Boy.
I've just finished The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi which I also think has firmly put itself in my favourites list."


Glad to hear that, Carmen. I actually copyedited that book :-).


message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Graham | 1 comments I have only read Siddhartha - set in India but not written by someone from India. A friend who is from India had a friend from there who read my novel - read it in a day and loved it. I was amazed since the setting was so foreign to him. So now I am interested in writers from India and elswhere. really looking forward to finding books and engaging here. Thanks!


message 10: by Vishal (new)

Vishal (vishalpipraiya) | 1 comments A suitable boy - Vikram Seth and
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

These two are my favourite English books set in India


message 11: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 1 comments The Death of Vishnu

The God of Small Things

The Age of Shiva

The White Tiger


message 12: by Jyoti (new)

Jyoti Arora (jyotiarora) Swami and his friends, Kim...


message 13: by Kushal (new)

Kushal Srivastava No matter what I do in my life I will never get over the depression caused by A Fine Balance. First rate book, one which will linger in your thoughts longs after you have read it.


message 14: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm currently looking for one short enough to assign to my book club. They only want books of 300 or so pages. Any thoughts?


message 15: by Kushal (new)

Kushal Srivastava Louise wrote: "Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm currently looking for one short enough to assign to my book club. They only want books of 300 or so pages. Any thoughts?"

Mistry's Such a long journey is a nice read about India and a Parsi family in particular, set in 1970s. It is around 400 or so pages.

If you're looking at 300 or less pages you should probably look at The God of small things by Arundhati Roy or The Guide by R K Narayan. The God...discusses the question of love. The Guide discusses the question of lust (not necessarily sexual)


message 16: by Mridula (new)

Mridula | 2 comments Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance is by far one of the best books I have read based in India. I agree with Kushal on how the book lingers in my thoughts.

Trying to Grow by Firdaus Kanga is another favourite.


message 17: by Mridula (new)

Mridula | 2 comments I forgot to mention A Suitable Boy.


WordsBeyondBorders English August by Upamanyu Chatterjee. However IMHO, the best writing in India is being done in the vernacular languages.


message 19: by Abhranil (new)

Abhranil Dutta | 1 comments 'A Fine Balance' by Rohinton Mistry...!!!

This book brilliantly explained the whole scenario of india..!!!


message 20: by Dhara (new)

Dhara Mehta (tulsitree) | 6 comments As a kid, I remember reading Just so Stories byR Kipling. Later on in life, I appreciated the sacrasam of 'River Sutra'. A Suitable Boy is on my 'to read' list. My problem is that a lot of books written in English are depressing!


message 21: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments I agree Dhara...some of them are too depressing. But Suitable Boy is a must read!


message 22: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments Shashi Tharoor's The Riot and The Great Indian Novel are two short books you can consider. The latter, like the original Mahabharata, has subtext which maybe is more for the Indian attuned to the politics of the times. RK Narayan is an all time favourite with most Indians.


message 23: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments Also remembered MM Kaye's The Far Pavilions. Though I read it almost 25 years back, I think it had a lyrical quality to it.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Nurjahan's Daughter by Tanushree Podder is my favorite. Historical fiction readers must read it!


message 25: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments Oh, Twentieth Wife by Indira Sundaresan is about Noor Jahan. And there is another one about Mumtaz Mahal. Both interesting...


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

@Meera Yes there's a trilogy by Indu Sundaresan about the Muguhals. I haven't read them. Should read them some time soon!


message 27: by Ram (new)

Ram | 145 comments Mod
yeah, i have been wanting to read Indu Sundaresan as well for a long time. Anybody read Manil Suri's books on the Hindu gods. How is it?


message 28: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments I found Death of Vishnu very tough to read. So haven't gone back to any more.


message 29: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments I absolutely loved The Death of Vishnu but I am having problems with The God of Small Things. There just seem to be too many story lines for me to keep all the characters straight. Sometime I also have problems with the authors assuming that I know local slang and customs so I easily get lost in the conversations. I know I give up on too many good Indian books out of frustration.


message 30: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments LOL. And I loved God of Small Things!


message 31: by Ram (new)

Ram | 145 comments Mod
Has anybody read Mohammad Basheer - the Malayalam writer


message 32: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Ram-
I haven't read any of Basheer's work but I just found out that the University of Minnesota has 9 of his books on file. Is there any specific one that you could recommend? Keep in mind that I'm the dummy who had problems with The God of Small Things.
Louise


message 33: by Ram (new)

Ram | 145 comments Mod
Louise, Goodreads has him featured here.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...

I have read his "Basheer fictions" and "Me Grandad ad an Elephant" - both are brilliant.


message 34: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Ram, Thanks. I ordered "Me Grandad.....". I'll let you know when I finish it. Louise


message 35: by okyrhoe (last edited Nov 23, 2011 02:12AM) (new)

okyrhoe | 2 comments Some books I've read and recommend (not including several titles already mentioned by others above):
- The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun Tejpal
- The Blue Bedspread by Raj Kamal Jha
- Tales from the Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry
- The Song of Kahunsha by Anosh Irani

For "lighter" reading:
- Q&A (a.k.a. Slumdog Millionaire) by Vikas Swarup
- the Marriage Bureau for Rich People series of novels by Farahad Zama
- Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
- Bollywood Nights by Shobhaa De


message 36: by Meera (new)

Meera Srikant (meerasri) | 22 comments okyrhoe wrote: "Some books I've read and recommend (not including several titles already mentioned by others above):
- The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun Tejpal
- The Blue Bedspread by Raj Kamal Jha
- Tales from th..."


Have you also read Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup? Thriller cum touching


message 37: by okyrhoe (new)

okyrhoe | 2 comments Meera wrote: "Have you also read Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup"

Added it to my wishlist, thanks!


message 38: by Kadamb (new)

Kadamb Kaluskar (kadambk) | 7 comments The Romantics
the romantics by panjaj mishra


message 39: by Nandakishore (last edited Dec 16, 2011 11:12PM) (new)

Nandakishore Mridula | 2 comments Undoubtedly, The Raj Quartet comprising The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence, and A Division of the Spoils by Paul Scott. He is largely forgotten today, but should not be.


message 40: by Aakanksha (new)

Aakanksha Singh | 13 comments I love so many Indian novels that its hard to close in on my favorite. But some books I liked were 'Inheritance Of Loss', 'Shadow Lines, 'Midnight Children,' 'Fine Balance', 'Such A Long Journey,' 'Tales From Ferozeshah Baug,''The Blue Bedspread,' 'Window Seat' by Janhavi Acharekar, 'Last Song Of Dusk, 'Untouchable,' Sea Of Poppies,' 'River Of Smoke''Rain in the Mountains' by Ruskin Bond and soooo many more. The list is endless.


message 41: by Priya (new)

Priya | 9 comments there is 1 book in indian fiction and its a real love story i too had a love story by Ravindra singh
its full of real emotion ..............


message 42: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Has anyone read the new Thrity Umrigar book: The World We Found? I was wondering if the descriptions of modern day India were at all accurate.


message 43: by Eleni (new)

Eleni | 4 comments Louise, I read it just now and enjoyed. The descriptions seemed accurate to me but I've only visited India (several times); I don't live there. Also, a lot of it harkens back to the 70s in India, which I know nothing about...


message 44: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Eleni- I also enjoyed reading the book. I stayed up until 2 AM so I could find out how everyone ended up. I also really liked Umrigar's The Space Between Us.


message 45: by Mathis (new)

Mathis Bailey | 5 comments I would have to say A Fine Balance and Shatanram. I love these two books!!!


message 46: by Louise (new)

Louise | 22 comments Mathis- Excellent choices! Also 2 of my favorite and one of the reasons I love Indian literature.
Louise


message 47: by Mathis (last edited Feb 20, 2012 08:16PM) (new)

Mathis Bailey | 5 comments Louise wrote: "Has anyone read the new Thrity Umrigar book: The World We Found? I was wondering if the descriptions of modern day India were at all accurate."

Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to read this book yet, but it's on my to-read list.

Oh! How foolish of me to forget. "The Secret daughter" is also a phenomenal read. I enjoyed every page of this beautiful book. The author catchers India and America like no other indian author I've read. I mean, Lahiri jumpha is also a brilliant writter. But this a darn good book!


message 48: by Mathis (new)

Mathis Bailey | 5 comments The next book I'm plan on reading is "A Suitable Boy". I've been putting off this book for too long.


message 49: by Aakanksha (new)

Aakanksha Singh | 13 comments Mathis wrote: "The next book I'm plan on reading is "A Suitable Boy". I've been putting off this book for too long."

Yes, even i want to read this book. Have been putting it off for a year now. :)


message 50: by Luaunna (new)

Luaunna | 24 comments I have The World we found bu have not yet started it. I read Secret Daughter and was not as enamored as Mathis, too many much better reads out there.I also have A Suitable Boy staring in my face but reading Miss Timmins School for Girls at the moment, the new Anita Desai The Artist of Disappearance next.


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