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Top Ten Indian Authors for Reading

By M.A. Rathore

India has been celebrated for its art, literature and philosophy since ancient times. There are over twenty languages spoken in India and literature that includes over twenty of these languages. However, not only do Indians take pride in the diversity of their languages but have a great command over the English language as well. As such, a wide variety of authors can be listed when it comes to Indian literature. Here is an attempt to compress the list down to a simple number of ten; the Indian authors that must be acknowledged and their books that should be read.

  1. Rabindranath Tagore

Even though Tagore received his education in law he took a great interest in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. Therefore following his works, he became a poet and author. His first poem ‘Mansai’ was published in 1890 after which he gained immense popularity amongst Bengali readers. His most significant works include ‘Gitanjali’ which was a collection of poems and ‘Galpaguchchha’ which are eighty short stories.
Gitanjali won himNobel Prize in 2013.

  1. Khushwant Singh

He was a journalist, editor, and novelist born in Hadli during the time of British India. He received his degree at St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi and King’s College in London. He initially started his career as a lawyer after which he got the opportunity to become the editor of important journals and magazines. As an author, he wrote some outstanding novels like Train to Pakistan (1956), Delhi: A Novel (1990), The Company of Women (1999), Truth, Love and a Little Malice (2002), The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous (2013).

  1. R. K. Narayan

He was born in Chennai and due to his father’s transfers had to move around, therefore changing many schools. His interest in reading was evident from a very young age and his hobby soon became a habit. He later graduated and decided to become a stay-at-home writer. His initial books were not that popular until his third novel, ‘The Dark Room’. Narayan oublished many novels soon became a well-renowned author during his time in India.

  1. Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam dabbled in poetry and literature at a very young age which inspired her to become a poet and novelist later in her life. She was a courageous woman who did not fear writing controversial texts during the pre-partition era. She suffered through tough times during the partition of India which influenced her to write the Punjabi novel ‘Pinjar’ (skeleton) which describes the helplessness of the women during that era and the discrimination they had to go through. The novel later was made into a Bollywood movie which was a hit throughout the nation.

  1. Ruskin Bond

Bond was born in Punjab, British India, and attained his education in Shimla. After completing high school, he moved to the U.K to enhance his writing career. He started his career as a freelance writer and eventually got jobs as an editor in various magazines. It wasn’t until 1980 when his novel became widely admired amongst readers. His best-known work is ‘The Blue Umbrella’, a heartwarming story read worldwide.

Dr. Jernail Singh Anand

Dr. Jernail Singh Anand, the only Indian author to become an Honorary Member of the Association of Serbian Writers after Rabindranath Tagore, has authored more than 150 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, spirituality, and philosophy. Anand is credited with the theory of Biotext in Critical Theory, 9 modern classic epics including the Mahakaal Trilogy and the creation of the Corporate Monster Lustus. Conferred the Franz Kafka Laureateship 2022 and International Aco Karamanov Poetry Award 2022 (Mecedonia), Naji Naaman Literary Award 2020, Cross of Literature and Cross of Peace from the World Union of Poets, Italy. Univ. of Neyshabur, Iran published a Research Project Comparing the Poetry of J.S. Anand with Sohrab Sepehri and Furogh Farrokhzad under Chief Coordinator, Dr. Roghayeh Farsi.

  1. Chetan Bhagat

Cited by The New York Times in 2008 as one of the biggest-selling English language novelists in India’s history, Chetan Bhagat is an author, screenwriter, columnist, and TV personality. He is known for Comedy-drama novels about young urban middle-class Indians. Some of his famous work includes Five Point Someone, 2 States, Half Girlfriend, and One Indian Girl.

  1. Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri is well known for her novels, essays, and short stories. She was born in London but relocated to the United States to get her education at Barnard College. She went ahead for her masters and attained her degree from Boston University. She was a struggling writer and her work was initially rejected by the publishers until her biggest success, ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’. This was a compilation of all her short stories about the life of immigrants in post-partition India. After the runaway success, she wrote many other novels which are famous throughout the Indian continent and the world. Some of the most famous ones are; The namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The lowland.

  1. Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta, graduated from high school, studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated with a B. A. Degree in 1975. From 1975 to 1986, he pursued his Ph.D. at Stanford University, California, U.S.A. He is best known for his epic novel ‘The Suitable boy’.

Arundhati Roy

  1. Arundhati Roy Writer, essayist, and political activist, Arundhati Roy, is best known for her novel The God of Small Things which won her the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. Some of her other works include The Algebra of Infinite Justice, Kashmir: The Case for Freedom, and Capitalism: A Ghost Story.


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