Best books about India

Best books about India

India is that enigmatic country, with new aromas and colors, in which we all once wanted to lose ourselves or, at least, to be able to observe from a particular kaleidoscope. An option that becomes much more feasible when it comes to traveling through these best books about India that analyze the various faces of what is one of the most unique nations in the world.

Best books about India



Ramayana is to India what The Odyssey is to Western literature: the literary base on which much of a culture and its way of understanding narrative is based. Published sometime in the XNUMXrd century BC by the poet vālmiki, Ramayana (or Rama's Journey) is an epic which tells the story of Prince Rama and his adventure to the island of Lanka to save his beloved Sita from the clutches of Ravana. The perfect excuse to impart the teachings of Sanskrit culture that would last in time and the arts not only of India, but of the countries of Southeast Asia conquered during the eighth century.

Swami and His Friends by RK Narayan

Swami and his friends from RK Narayan

In India, be a "swami" means to fend for oneself, generally like a yogi approaching childbirth. Swami and his friends, the first of Narayan's "Malgudi" stories, a sponsored author of Graham Greene, became not only one of the first indian works in english that transcended beyond the borders, but also in a portrait of a decade of the 30s in India marked by an independence movement that was approaching its last days. Still, many experts try to locate the location of Malgudi, that fictional town in South India.

India: After a Million Riots, by VS Naipaul

VS Naipaul India

Despite its location in the Caribbean, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago make up one of the countries with the largest Indian population in the world. An outcome of the diaspora that Naipaul, of Hindu origin, was well aware of until the moment he decided to return on a trip to India to rediscover your identity. Throughout the pages of this book, Naipaul describes the country of his ancestors with irony and tenderness, with the illusion of someone who is sailing in a totally different place than previously seen. Without a doubt, one of the best books on India.

Would you like to read India, from VS Naipaul?

Sons of Midnight, by Salman Rushdie

Sons of Midnight by Salman Rushdie

Considered one of the best examples of the magical realism "Made in India", Children of midnight was the work that consolidated a by then unknown Salman Rushdie pointing towards one of the most significant episodes in the history of India: midnight on August 15, 1947, at which time the Asian country achieved independence. An episode in which the birth of Saleem Sinai takes place, a protagonist with supernatural abilities who turned this work published in 1981 into winner of the Booker Prize or the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

A Perfect Balance, by Rohinton Mistry

A perfect balance of Rohinton Mistry

Born in Bombay into a Parsi family, Mistry emigrated with his wife to Canada in 1975 where he began publishing a series of stories that would link to the publication of A perfect balance in 1995. A novel as hard as it is tender, set in an Indian city during a declaration of a state of emergency, which leads four unknown characters with each other to live together in a small apartment. The novel was nominated for the booker award, won the Trillium Award and was included in the Oprah's Book Club in 2001, which resulted in hundreds of copies sold.

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

The God of Little Things by Arundhati Roy

Born into a Syrian-Christian family residing in the tropical Kerala, state of South India, Arundhati Roy took almost a lifetime to write this autobiographical novel whose descriptions make it a unique, special work. The story, set in 1992 and 1963, tells the childhood and subsequent meeting of Rahel and Estha, two twin brothers united by a terrible secret. After its publication in 1997, The god of little things became a bestseller and winner of the Booker award.

The Women's Wagon, by Anita Nair

Anita Nair's Women's Wagon

The situation of women in India It has undergone many changes, yet it still has a bitter residue. A motif that is addressed by Nair throughout the pages of this novel whose protagonist, Akhila, is a middle-aged single woman who decides to undertake a train journey where she meets five other female travelers who are an inspiration. Women with irascible, submissive and feisty husbands that make up a microcosm full of warmth and reflection.

Do not miss The Women's Wagon, by Anita Nair.

The Good Name, by Jhumpa Lahiri

The good name of Jhumpa Lahiri

Short story writer before novelist judging by the success and quality of works such as Unusual land, Bengali-American author Jhumpa Lahiri stunned the world with the 2003 publication of his first novel, The good name. A complex story that follows in the footsteps of an Indian marriage of convenience settling in Cambridge. After giving birth to her first child, the choice of the name becomes a perfect example between tradition (the grandmother must choose it) and the modernity to which they must adapt. The novel was adapted in 2006 to the cinema.

White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

By horse between the picaresque novel and the epistolary,White Tiger It is narrated through the different emails that a man sends to the Prime Minister of China. This man is called Balram Halwai, and he was a boy brought from one of the poorest areas of India to work as an enslaved butler for a wealthy New Delhi family. From there, our protagonist manages to become a bloodthirsty businessman from the city of Bangalore. The book, written by an Adiga turned into the second youngest writer to win the Booker Prize, became a bestseller upon its publication in 2008.

What are the best books on India that you have read?


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  1.   Violet Anderson said

    A gripping novel about India is ASHES ON THE GODAVARI RIVER (Amazon). It contains adventures, exotic landscapes, intrigue, mystery, travel, and romance, and is well documented on topics such as sati, arranged marriages, and the marginalization of widows.

  2.   Rosalyn perez said

    And another wonderful novel that describes Hindu customs with clarity and beauty is called Las Torres del Silencio, (Amazon)

  3.   Rosa Perez said

    The Towers of Silence is another interesting and documented novel about India and its strange customs, available on Amazon.

  4.   Lucilla said

    Indeed Ashes in the Godavari River and The Towers of Silence are great novels set in India, by the same author (Lourdes María Monert) but they can be read separately because they are not a saga but independent from each other.

  5.   Isabel Garcia Moreno said

    I have just read a novel called Adventure in India and I have seen that it is by an author named Carmen Pérez Calera and she signs with the pseudonym "siestecita." I liked it a lot, it is super entertaining and I found it to be a very funny adventure novel. It is now free on Amazon.

  6.   qxsfparewn said


  7.   Sandra said

    I believe that missing from the list is one of the most wonderful and grandiose books ever written about India, "A Good Match" by Vikram Seth, considered by specialized critics as the best exponent of true India.