India has been celebrated for its art, literature and writing since ancient times. There are over twenty languages spoken in India and literature that includes over twenty of these languages. However, not only does Indians take pride in the diversity of their languages but has a great command over the English language as well. Henceforth, a wide variety of authors can be listed when it comes to Indian literature, so here’s 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.
Rabindranath Tagore –
Born in 1861, Rabindranath Tagore took huge curiosity in literature, although he received his education in law. Tagore is the first non-European to obtain a Nobel Prize in literature, for Gitanjali, his collection of poems, in the year 1913. He deeply cared about his nation, but always stood critical of nationalism. After the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919, he refused the knighthood honored by King George V. He was famously known as Gurudev and his songs are called Rabindrasangeet.
Amrita Pritam –
Indian novelist, poet, and essayist Amrita Pritam were born in 1919. She moved to India during the partition – her notable poem ‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’ depicts her terror and grief of brutality that happened during the partition. Her Punjabi and Hindi writings were translated into Mandarin, Danish, Japanese, English, and French. She was the first person to receive Punjab Rattan Award. She is the first woman to receive Sahitya Akademi Award.
Jhumpa Lahiri –
Nilanjana Sudeshna, popularly known as Jhumpa Lahiri is known for her short story collection Interpreter of Maladies, which received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Few other works that won her several awards are The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland. In the year 2014, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal.
Arundhati Roy –
Born in 1961, Arundhati Roy is renowned for her novel The God of Small Things, which received the Man Booker Prize in the year 1997. Roy is also a political activist involved with environmental and human rights causes. Few other renowned works of Roy are Azadi, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, The End of Imagination, and more.
R. K. Narayan –
R.K. Narayan’s greatest accomplishment is that he made India reachable to the foreign world through literature. He is acknowledged for his fictional work set in Malgudi, a South Indian town. Some of the awards received by Narayan are Filmfare for Best Story, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan.
Khushwant Singh –
Born in Pakistan in the year 1915, Singh was well acquainted with the politics of the 1947 partition, which inspired him to write Train to Pakistan – the most notable work. He was a lawyer, writer, journalist, and politician. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan.
Ruskin Bond –
Born in 1934, Ruskin Bond is an Indian writer of British descent. The Room on the Roof, his first novel got the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the year 1957. In the year 1999, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri for his offerings to children’s literature. Some other notable works of Bond are The Blue Umbrella, The Flight of Pigeons, Delhi is Not So Far, and more.
Vikram Seth –
Seth is a very renowned Indian poet and novelist. He has received various awards for his literary contributions like Crossword Book Award, Padma Shri, WH Smith Literary Award, Sahitya Academy Award, and more. Some of his celebrated works are A Suitable Boy, The Golden Gate, An Equal Music, Mappings, and more.
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay –
Born in the year 1876, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay is one of the most celebrated Indian writers. Some of his best works are Devdas, Srikanta, Parineeta, Pather Dabi, and more.
Chetan Bhagat is a renowned writer and columnist. In 2010, he was included in the list of Time Magazine, in the category of the World’s 100 Most Influential People. He is famous for his books like Half Girlfriend, 2 States, Five Point Someone, and more.
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