With Indian women winning international prizes such as the prestigious Booker and Pulitzer Prizes and changing the literary landscape of the country, it’s no wonder that things have changed for women authors in the country. Anita Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and so many more have made their mark on the literary map in India and attained global prominence.
In the country, women writers have moved away from traditional portrayals of enduring self- sacrificing women, female characters searching for identity are no longer characterized and defined simply in terms of their victim status. A major preoccupation in recent Indian women’s writing has been a delineation of inner life and subtle interpersonal relationships. However, the numbers are painfully less compared to not only men but also women around the globe.
Here is a list of some of the must-reads by Indian women authors.
The Palace of Illusions (2008) by Chitra Banerjee Devakurni: One of the bestsellers in this genre, The Palace of Illusions is a narration of Mahabharata by Paanchali, also known as Draupadi.
The God Of Small Things (1997) by Arundhati Roy: The winner of the Man Booker Prize in 1998, this is the book that put India on the world map of non-fiction works.
Fire On The Mountain (1977) by Anita Desai: The“Sahitya Akademi” award-winning novel is about Nanda Kaul, who renounces city life and leaves her family behind, to live in the hills. Until one day, her great-granddaughter comes to live with her.
The Namesake (2003) by Jhumpa Lahiri: The bestselling author of Interpreter of Maladies, crafts a touching story about the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations.
The Inheritance of Loss (2006) by Kiran Desai: The author’s ambitious second book is based on the rigid class systems that exist in India and abroad amongst Indians, and the struggles that the people face within these classes after colonialism.
Follow Every Rainbow (2013) by Rashmi Bansal: A collection of 25 inspiring, real life stories of some strong women who’ve charted their own paths.