Even if you are not an avid reader, not devouring on these literal gems would be a big loss. This list is a mix of the award-winning and critically acclaimed books by Indian women authors, and are nothing but masterpieces!
Prepare yourself for a soul satiating ride, and read these fantastic books by Indian women authors that will leave you mesmerized with their flow, hard-hitting dialogues, imagery, and more. It is possible that you’ll end up being a bibliophile. Well, stop everything, and get these books by Indian women authors for yourself on this Women’s Day!
1. The God of Small things / Arundhati Roy
This novel won the Man Booker Prize in 1997 and deserves all the applause it gets. Arundhati Roy’s writing is powerful, the characters are well crafted, and the story focuses on the caste-based discrimination in our country. The story is about a boy-girl pair of twins whose lives are destroyed by the rules of society. It will take you on a ride, and will leave an imprint on your mind.
2. Lifting the Veil / Ismat Chughtai
Lifting the veil is a collection of Ismat chughtai’s best short stories including masterpieces like The Quilt, and The Homemaker. These stories are an impressive, and sarcastic flawless reflection of women’s sexuality, and are thought-provoking. The characters and their dialogues will stay with you forever because that’s how Ismat Aapa would write!
3. The Milk Teeth / Amrita Mahale
Milk Teeth is refreshing with its depiction of ’90s Bombay’ in a subtle, and incisive way. The story revolves around the recent past and explores the journey of the city from Bombay to Mumbai. It’s a blend of love stories of protagonists, their involved families, and the dirty modern Mumbai, which is stinking with corruption. The journey of the protagonists is captivating and well-reflected. You will be in awe after reading the climax. It’s simple, yet thought-provoking.
4. All the lives we never lived / Anuradha Roy
This book is a celebration of womanhood and captures its layers of motherhood, rejection, pain, and freedom. The character of ‘Gayatri’ is a beautiful portrayal of a real woman. The backstories of the characters are connected in the most gorgeous way, and if you are planning to read something historical, and women-centric, then this book should be your next read. Set in the pre-World War era, this book will definitely take you back in time.
5. The Poison of Love / K.R Meera
This book is all about an emotionally abusive relationship. The story revolves around the courtship and marriage of Tulsi and Madhav. It may sound like your regular Indian marriage kind of story, but there’s more to it. The character of Tulsi is relatable, and her self-destruction is mind-boggling. Madhav on the other hand reflects a toxic man. It’s a must-read for the twist it has in the climax. Also, the way Vrindavan has been described in the backdrop is praiseworthy too.
6. Latitudes of Longing / Shubhangi Swarup
This book has intertwined nature’s calamities with the emotions of humans in the most beautiful way. The characters are in a constant fight with social evils of patriarchy, and communism. They share their feelings with trees and ghosts. This book is a story of love, grief, and longing. There are many protagonists. The way Swarup has depicted their journey through vivid shades of nature is applaudable. It’s one aesthetic, and mind-pleasing novel!
7. The Inheritance of the loss / Kiran Desai
This novel paints the pictures of India’s class system and their obsession with immigrating to America. The story captures the journey of Sai, a 17-year-old girl, her grandfather, who is a judge, and Biju, who works illegally in kitchens in NYC. The story has focused on the tragic Gorkhaland crisis and, how it affected the common lives in Kalimpong. To sum up, this book is a touching depiction of an era of turmoil in India.
8. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Women / Billi Kaur Jaswal
It’s a mix of murder mystery, romance, and how the lives of immigrant Punjabi women in the UK are. The pace of the story is fast, and the character of the headstrong Nikki will keep you hooked until the end. The failed attempt of Nikki to teach creative writing to a group of widowers leads to a series of passionate stories of these widowers, which spread like a wildfire in the community! It’s an interesting, and light book to read!
9. Bitter Chocolate / Pinki Virani
This book is an eye-opener with child abuse as its central theme. It successfully showcases how this sensitive issue is kept under the blanket by our own family members. It represents how innocent kids, irrespective of their gender are easily exposed to dangers in their own homes. A must-read book, an eye-opener, and an informative read!
10. In Search of Heer / Manjul Bajaj
In Search of Heer is a contemporary retelling of the tragic love story of Heer, Ranjha. It points out how a women’s freedom can be tortured in the name of protection. The story also reflects the hatred and cruelty of men. Along with the protagonists, and other characters, the non-human characters have added to the beauty of this lyrical masterpiece. If you think Heer Ranjha was tragic, you should read this modern version of the same!
11. Palaces of Illusion / Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
This book is a marvellous interpretation of the Mahabharata from Draupadi’s viewpoint. This page-turner will keep you engaged with its excellent narrative, and dialogues. The story lets the readers learn the lesson that ‘no one ever is completely right’. Draupadi’s dream of becoming equal to men in a patriarchal society, and then growing up while blaming herself for the war is comprehensive and deep. You will see Mahabharata from a different lens after reading this book!
12. Those Pricey Thakur Girls / Anuja Chauhan
An engaging story, an element of suspense, a lot of fun, and laughter awaits for you in this book. Anuja Chauhan has done a fab job in writing a novel that has the vibes of the much celebrated ‘Pride, and Prejudice’, and Little Women. This book has successfully mirrored the issues and problems that we face in our families daily. It’s a perfect rom-com pick for your weekend!
13. Cyber Sexy / Richa Kaur Padte
The books question the status quo at various places, and at different levels. It looks at pornography in different political, and social ways. Cyber Sexy talks a lot about the community too and is pretty relevant. We loved how Richa Kaur has highlighted the matter of consent, women, and porn. The general consensus regarding pornography is shocking, and interesting at the same time, and raises questions. It’s a must-read if you are looking for something different, and digital!
14. Wise & Otherwise / Sudha Murthy
This non-fiction book has all our hearts, as Sudha Murthy beautifully captures real-life incidents. It has 51 incidents about ordinary people and their extraordinary minds. Grab your coffee, and explore different people, their personalities, and their interesting stories. It’s a simple, and profound piece of work, which keeps you hooked until the last page.
15. Ahalya’s Awakening / Kavita Kane
The book has given dimensions to the story of Ahalya who was created by Brahma in many ways. The transformation of Ahalya from her childhood, to when she finds herself is captivating. This book explains the rise and fall of Ahalya in an unbiased way and portrays all the characters in their truest form. The language of the book is plain, but the narration, and the imageries are brilliant. It’s mythology from a female’s perspective, and that’s what makes it a must-read book!
So, which one of these books by Indian women authors are you planning to gorge on? Tell us in the comment section below.