India has been celebrated for its art, literature, and writing since ancient times. There are more than twenty languages spoken in India and literature that includes over twenty of these languages. Moreover, Indians have excellent command over the English language also.
In India, English Literature has flourished through a long way from a few estimated English books a year to millions of new releases every day. In 2020 the Indian book market is valued at Rs. 739 billion approx.
So whether you are looking for an absorbing new book to dig into over the holiday break; or just want your next can't-put-it-down, there are plenty of options.
In this post, we have compiled a list of 10 best selling books in India that you won't want to miss. From both fiction and nonfiction categories that means there is little something for everyone.
The God of Small Things is a debut novel by the popular writer Arundhati Roy. This modern classic novel stands as one of the best celebrated Indian Novels on national as well as international. The story of this book revolves around two twins Estha and Rahel living in Kerala.
The novel depicts the life of these twins and how it changes with the arrival of their cousin Sophie. It describes an emotional tale of love, kinship ties, and betrayal. The political predisposition is expressed as the novel says about caste, class as well as discrimination.
Another best selling book in India, Fasting, and Feasting was shortlisted for the Booker Prize award in 1999. This novel reveals the entrenched patriarchal family system of India. The story of the novel runs around the life of Uma, a grey-haired spinster who feels imprisoned and smothered by her parents. The book seeks to show how daughters of Indian families are given a lot of burdens with roles & responsibilities and ultimately they are pressured to sacrifice their own dreams and aspirations in this process.
The Fasting, Feasting is an endearing novel that seeks to open a conversation between cultural norms; family values, and individual aspirations.
Written by Amitav Gosh, an award-winning Bengali writer, Shadow Lines is a vitalizing story about the borders that mark as well as limit our imaginations. It captures the perspective of time and events and brings and keeps apart people at the same time.
First, it starts running in the memories of one and then becomes the imagination of another. Hence, this book mainly unwinds the imagination of the reader himself. The Shadow Lines has a consistent reference to the major historical events such as the Swadeshi Movement; The Second World War, The partition of India, etc. It has always been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989.
One of the longest Indian novels ever to be published, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth was published in 1993. A thick heavy bound book with around one thousand four hundred pages, the novel went on to win the Commonwealth Writers Prize Award in the following year of its launch.
The story of this novel is about a mother who is in search of a suitable marriage for her daughter's marriage. Set in post-independence India, the novel soon engages with the events and the anxieties that shaped the country building processes instantly after the independence along with the partition. Moreover, it covers other issues like Hindu-Muslim rivalry, elimination of the Zamindari System and empowerment of Muslim women.
This novel is an engaging epic about romance, love, families, and politics. You need a lot of patience to complete reading this novel but you will enjoy this beautiful story.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie is focused on the transition of India from British Colonization to freedom and partition. The story runs around Sakeem Sinai, who was born at the stroke of midnight when India got independence and later as he grows, how he feels related to most of the things happening with his native country.
What makes it one of the best selling books in India, it describes thousands of children born at the initial hours; mainly on that particular day he was born and how they are gifted uniquely. Through his great telepathic powers, the writer gives his best to get all these children together.
Because of its epic story and writing, Midnight's Children was awarded the Booker of Bookers in 1993 and best all-time prize winners in 2008. Even today, it is among the brilliant performances in fiction.
When it comes to the best selling books in India, how can we forget the wonderful novel by Jhumpa Lahiri- The Namesake. It beautifully unwinds the immigrant experience, different cultures, lifestyle; the conflict in adjusting to the different customs and above all the huge gap in generations.
In this novel, Lahiri has explained very well through the life of a Bengali family who changes base from Calcutta to America and how coping with western becomes difficult for this Indian family.
It all starts when it comes to naming their son and how to name a traditional name which later shape multiple aspects of his life. Through this book, the writer also explains how parents impose their thoughts and believe in their kids. And, children find it quite embarrassing when they are grown up. But towards the end, the boy realizes the importance of his father's thoughts and how he regrets his life then.
The Namesake is intimate, fine-tuned, and a deeply felt novel.
The Train to Pakistan is a historical novel by Khushwant Singh, it narrates the events that marked the partition of India in 1947. The story of the book runs around the people of a village that geographically lies on the border of India and Pakistan.
Through his excellent character development and storytelling skills, Singh implores the readers to incorporate a more humanitarian world view. This is a haunting narrative about conflict, war and violence and seeks to formulate a social understanding of such communal situations without taking sides or giving any kind of sensational political commentary.
An adventure novel by Martel, Life of Pi explains how an Indian boy survives a shipwreck after 227 days and his only companion was a Bengal tiger in a boat in the Pacific Ocean. Because of his faith, meditation and belief the body could survive.
The story shows how life changes for Pi after his family gets drowned with the ship they took to go to Canada and only he and some other animals could stay alive after the disaster. Then, the body survives in the open ocean. The pain, boredom, fear, agony, and the challenge of existence all put together is how Pi survives in those days. The writer has explained the power of God and imaging that he is along with you every time.
Honoured with multiple awards, The Inheritance of Loss's main themes are migration, living between the past and present and between two different worlds. This is a great novel, depicting the lifestyle of the Indian culture and the Western culture that shows how people forget their roots easily when they move to another country and earn money.
It is explained through the judge's character, where he even leaves his family, for not liking the western culture and he does not like the Indian culture. Overall, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai is among the best selling books in India that makes you realize the value of culture and heritage, no matter where you are.
The Immortals is written by the popular and great writer Amit Chaudhary. The storyline of this novel is set in the Bombay of the 1970s and 80s; and focuses on two families whose fortunes are connected by music. Amit Chaudhary is a talented musician himself and brings much authenticity to it.
The main protagonist Shyam Lal, the son of a singer; teaches music to people in order to provide support to his family. His student Mallika Sengupta's musical ambitious is dulled by luxury. Her son, Nirmalay, is captivated by philosophy and incredulous of Shyamji's material pursuits. This novel is all about music in the modern world. It is a must-read for musically inclined and one of the best selling books in India.
We all have seen the decline of book sales in the past decade, due to online downloadable versions and audiobooks. However, the great old fashion paper books are still a preferred option for a lot of people. And these best selling books listed here are in high demand and selling strong.
So if you are someone who loves to read reviews before trying food in any restaurant; take this post as guidance for your next read and give these outstanding novels a try.
For any doubt or confusion, feel free to ask in the comment below. If you found our post helpful and interesting, share it with your family and friends; and let them know what is going to be your next read