Although writing and reading are some of the most gender agnostic things in the world, there is no denying that the sentimentality and wholesomeness a woman author can bring to her books are rarely found otherwise. Women authors have a way of discovering characters as you read their books. Did you know that the first woman author to write in English (posthumously) was Krupabai Satthianadan in the 1800s? Indian women authors’ sensitivity in their books towards gender discrimination, caste divides, politics, mythology etc., is outstanding.
So, here we are today, with a list of our favourite Indian women authors for you.
If you haven’t yet read The Palace of Illusions by Chitra, you have missed out on a critical viewpoint in life. Chitra is an Indian-American author, best known for her books like Arranged Marriage, The Mistress of Spices, Oleander Girl, Sister of My Heart, The Forest of Enchantments and many others apart from the first one mentioned. Arranged Marriage even won the American Book Award.
She is mostly famous for her poetry, short stories, magical realism, mythological/historical fiction and fantasy.
Chitra’s books weave together fascinating characters and make them a realistic read. Her take on her characters is very practical, even when writing for mythological or historical ones. And hence, the writing is relatable to almost every generation.
The brain behind taglines like “Nothing official about it”/”Yeh Dil Maange More” for Pepsi and many others for Kurkure, Nokian, Mountain Dew etc., Anuja Chauhan is a famous screenwriter and author.
Best known for her books like The Zoya Factor, Those Pricey Thakur Girls and Baaz, Anuja writes what makes for a feel-good read. Anuja doesn’t indulge in heavy subjects. If you are looking for a fast read and one that does not feel forcefully Indian, her books are your best bet.
She is one of the very few authors who while having Indian characters, don’t indulge uncharacteristically into the Indian ethos and make it a documentary about the Indian culture. She treats her characters like any other person and delves into their nuances rather than the above said.
If you know Mira Nair and the brilliant performances in her movie, The Namesake, then you know Jhumpa Lahiri. The book that it was adapted from was Jhumpa’s first book. Moreover, her debut in short stories- Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and also the PEN/Hemingway Award in 1999.
Jhumpa’s family migrated to the US when she was a child but her writing has a powerful Indian influence (especially Bengali, her mother tongue). The way she writes, you can actually visualize the story playing in front of your eyes. Jhumpa has a way with her words, and her books are very contemporary.
Surprised? Hear us out. We know she’s not an award-winning writer of complicated subjects, but Twinkle has acquired a prominent position in the Indian writing scene recently. Her spark, chutzpah and honest humour has earned our respect.
Her books like Mrs Funnybones, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad and the more recent, Pyjamas are Forgiving talk openly about the flaws in people and are more about accepting them rather than creating idealistic characters. She weaves this narrative with immense humour and makes us feel that laughing at ourselves is not such a bad thing after all!
Twinkle is often known for her wisecracks, and the same reflects in her writing as well. While many women authors focus on socio-political subjects, Twinkle’s writing is a breath of fresh air!
Which ones are your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.