What to Read Next: Focus on India

With over 16 million migrants world-wide, Indian culture is permeating cultures across the world on a grand scale. As the fastest growing ethnic group in literary fiction, Indian vernacular and its idiosyncrasies are infusing and thus enriching our own worldview. Describing India as vibrant is an understatement, as India, quite simply, defies description: it is completely and fabulously bonkers. Think delectable chai; resplendent saris; eye-watering curries; fanatical cricket followers; maniacal traffic; 33 million Hindu Gods and Goddesses; the world’s largest democracy; and a proud and storied history stretching back over five millennia. India is not for the faint of heart. You’ll love it.

For a taste of Indian literature, TBPL has much to offer. For a comprehensive list of authors, please pick up a copy of our new Authors of the World brochure at any library location. Here are a few to get you started:

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

“This powerful, heart-wrenching novel and its two unforgettable heroines offer an extraordinary example of the strength that can be summoned in even the most terrible situations.” – Booklist, starred review

The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph

“Fusing ribald farce with poignant drama … Joseph deftly rotates narrative points of view … [and] embellishes each strand with vibrant dabs of local color …that help showcase India in all its sublime and absurd glory…. Wild, irreverent and blackly comic.” – Malcolm Forbes, Star Tribune

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

“The White Tiger is a penetrating piece of social commentary, attuned to the inequalities that persist despite India’s new prosperity. It correctly identifies—and deflates—middle-class India’s collective euphoria.” – The New York Times

One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“One Amazing Thing is a beautiful novel, a tapestry of nine stories … A passionate, intelligent book that sings with humanity.” – Texas Monthly

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing seizes the reader early and never lets go. Its electricities reside in Mira Jacob’s acute details and the sadness, anger, and humor of her characters. This novel tells many wonderful stories while also telling, beautifully, the story that counts the most.” – Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

Part travelogue and part autobiography, Holy Cow is an hilarious read. MacDonald takes us on a mile-a-minute roller-coaster ride through two years of her life, as she dabbles in the plethora of available religions in a country that can only be described as beyond description: “It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all extremes.”

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