All Time Faves: South Asian Authors

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English, August: An Indian Story
By Chatterjee, Upamanyu
2006/04 - New York Review of Books
1590171799 Find It

Agastya Sen, known to friends by the English name August, is a child of the Indian elite. His friends go to Yale and Harvard. August himself has just landed a prize government job. The job takes him to Madna, "the hottest town in India," deep in the sticks. There he finds himself surrounded by incompetents and cranks, time wasters, bureaucrats, and crazies. What to do? Get stoned, shirk work, collapse in the heat, stare at the ceiling. Dealing with the locals turns out to be a lot easier for August than living with himself." English, August "is a comic masterpiece from contemporary India. Like "A Confederacy of Dunces" and "The Catcher in the Rye," it is both an inspired and hilarious satire and a timeless story of self-discovery. ...More

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Clear Light of Day
By Desai, Anita
2000/09 - Mariner Books
9780618074518 Find It

Sisterly love is the focus of this novel, set in Old Delhi against the backdrop of some of India's most significant historical events, including the death of Gandhi and the malaria epidemic. ...More

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Hullabalo in the Guava Orchard
By Desai, Kiran
1998/06 - Atlantic Monthly Press
0871137119 Find It

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is the story of Sampath Chawla, born in a time of drought into a family not quite like other families, in a town not quite like other towns. After years of failure at school, failure at work, of spending his days dreaming in the tea stalls and singing to himself in the public gardens, it does not seem as if Sampath is going to amount to much. "But the world is round", says his grandmother. "Wait and see!" No one believes her, until one day Sampath climbs a guava tree in search of peaceful contemplation and becomes unexpectedly famous as a holy man. Sampath's newfound fame sends the tiny town of Shahkot into turmoil. His feisty sister falls in love with the very unsuitable Hungry Hop Ice Cream Boy; a syndicate of larcenous, alcoholic monkeys terrorizes the pilgrims who cluster around Sampath's tree; his fath ...More

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The Hungry Tide
By Ghosh, Amitav
2005/05 - Houghton Mifflin Company
0618329978 Find It

A BookPage Notable Title
A contemporary story of adventure and romance, identity and history, this novel brings two outsiders deep into one of the most fascinating regions on Earth--tiny islands known as the Sundarbans off the coast of India--where life is ruled by the unforgiving tides and the constant threat of attack by Bengal tigers.

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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
By Narayan, R. K.
1993/02 - Penguin Books
9780140187007 Find It


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The God of Small Things
By Roy, Arundhati
1998/06 - Harper Perennial
9780060977498 Find It

Winner - 1997 Booker Award
"A banquet for all the senses", said "Newsweek" of this bestselling and Booker Prize-winning literary novel--a richly textured first book about the tragic decline of one family whose members suffer the terrible consequences of forbidden love.

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Midnight's Children
By Rushdie, Salman
1995/10 - Everyman's Library
0679444629 Find It

The author of The Stananic Verses creates a fascinating family saga about the birth and maturity of a land and its people--a brilliant incarnation of the human comedy. "Rushdie has achieved a magnificent and unique work of fiction".--The Philadelphia Inquirer. ...More

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A Suitable Boy
By Seth, Vikram
1994/04 - Harper Perennial
9780060925000 Find It

With more than 60,000 hardcover copies sold, this ecstatically acclaimed bestseller is an epic novel destined to become a literary classic. Seth offers a rich and spellbinding story of four extended families in postcolonial India in the 1950s. "Lavishly detailed . . . Lovingly recounted. . . ".--New York Times Book Review. ...More

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No End to the Journey
By Shankar, S.
2005/10 - Steerforth Press
1586420933 Find It

In the distinguished tradition of R. K. Narayan and Anita Desai, S. Shankar has written a keenly observed novel in which comic delicacy and rueful irony are beautifully balanced in a story placed against the vibrant backdrop of the New India, the world's largest democracy, and a country in which the rigid dogmas of the past often clash with the impatient and dynamic innovations of the present. ...More

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Train to Pakistan
By Singh, Khushwant
1994/02 - Grove/Atlantic
0802132219 Find It

It is a place, Khushwant Singh goes on to tell us at the beginning of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day, at the end of the summer, the 'ghost train' arrives, a silent, incredible funeral train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refuges, bringing the village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. Train to Pakistan is the story of this isolated village that is plunged into the abyss of religious hate. It is also the story of a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love endures and transcends the ravages of war. ...More


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