India in Books

Posted Jan 11, 2019

Bangalore, India, native and first-time novelist Madhuri Vijay brings her book The Far Field to Shorewood Public Library on Tuesday, January, 15. She joins a prestigious list of authors who have captured India in fiction, transporting us to this incredibly diverse nation rich in history and pulsing with politics. Here are a few must-reads to enjoy before, or after, you read The Far Field.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Roy's first novel, published to much acclaim and winner of the Man Booker prize, tells the story of twins struggling to reconnect after years of separation during which they have both struggled with grief and guilt over actions which shaped their childhood. The God of Small Things contemplates, as many Indian novels do, tensions between castes and post-colonial culture clashes but is ultimately about both familial and forbidden love.

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Another Booker winner, Midnight's Children catapulted Rushdie to fame. A man born at the exact moment of Indian independence finds he and others born in the same hour are imbued with special powers. Rushdie's story is an allegory for India's history immediately following independence, and like much of his work uses magical realism to weave a mythical and beautiful tale.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Another  novel set in post-independence India, A Suitable Boy is a sweeping, panoramic tale of India following four large families but centering most closely on the story of stubborn Lata and her mother's work seeking a suitor for her to marry. While it's a long book, it is a worthy read.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga's Man Booker winner from 2008 is a darkly humorous story set in a more modern India, exploring the influences of globalization and technology. Central character Balram tells how he overcame his low-caste, rural birth to achieve a success only possible in a modern, capitalist nation - and through one self-serving choice.

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