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21 Amazing Books Published By Indian Authors In 2017 That Everyone Should Read

2017 may have been a shit year overall, but it was a great year for literature.

1. The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Why you should read it: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a beautiful journey by a brilliant story teller, which travels through Old Delhi, sky-scraping metropolitan cities, the valleys of Kashmir, and the forests of Central India. At its core The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is an overarching love story and encapsulates all emotions that go with it.

2. No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal

Why you should read it: Rakesh Satyal focuses on a group of Indian-Americans living outside Cleveland, to try and highlight what it's like to be an immigrant. The novel streams through the group as they try to adapt to their adopted home, while also struggling to retain their Indian identity.

3. Murder In A Minute by Shouvik Bhattacharya

Why you should read it: If you're into murder mysteries, Bhattacharya checks all the boxes with his intriguing novel. In true noir fashion, he weaves a story about the murder of a woman, her college sweetheart being the prime suspect, and her step-siblings – not being convinced – embarking on a journey of truth riddled with hidden clues, conspiracies, and the obvious nefarious mechanisms bigger than both of them at work.

4. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Why you should read it: A liberating story about Sikh widows, who attend a creative writing course at a local community college in the U.K. The narrative weaves itself through the eyes of Nikki, a 20-something Sikh Punjabi, born and raised in the U.K. It's her, albeit slow, realisation of just how amazing all these women are that sparks an interesting cross-generational and cross-cultural story.

5. I Do What I Do by Raghuram G. Rajan

Why you should read it: A autobiographical, non-fiction tale from the former governor of the RBI himself. Detailing his education, understandings of life, and his eventual rise to one of the top economists in the country. Rajan's book also leaves in plenty of tidbits about the Indian economy and the financial future of India. If you're someone who wants to understand how everything related to money works in this country, this one is for you.

6. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Why you should read it: A young adult graphic novel featuring Indian-American teenager, Priyanka, as she deals with being a brown person in America, not being as financially stable as her classmates in Orange County, and living in a home with a single parent. A beautiful part of the story revolves around Priyanka’s mother struggling to teach her daughter about Indian culture.

7. How To Be A Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

Why you should read it: Lilly Singh has to be one of the most hardworking people on this planet. And she's finally noted down how she got to be such a bawse. One of the biggest YouTubers in the world chronicles all the struggles, late nights, missed opportunities, and the eventual toll it takes on one's social life in the beginning, and she does it in the classic IISuperwomanII manner.

8. Age Of Anger by Pankaj Mishra

Why you should read it: Mishra beautifully travels through time to try and diagnose why we've become the way we are. From ISIS to Donald Trump, to shootings and terrorist attacks, he goes all the way back to the 18th century tracing forward to present day racism, misogyny, and vengeful nationalism.

9. Wild Embers: Poems Of Rebellion, Fire And Beauty by Nikita Gill

Why you should read it: A set of short poems that explore femininity, transcendence of love, wild revolution, and self-empowerment. From tales of heroines of lore, goddesses of wisdom, and larger than life figures, the core of most stories deals with our oneness in the universe.

10. A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Why you should read it: This follow up to Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen, builds the universe of his YA setting. A Crown of Wishes is a standalone fantasy, although, placed in the same universe. It focuses on Princess Gauri, who’s been taken prisoner and has to team up with one of her most hated enemies to win back her kingdom.

11. A Life Of Adventure And Delight by Akhil Sharma

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Why you should read it: A brilliant bank of short stories that provide a great insight into Akhil Sharma's work. Each story deals with the evolution of humanity through various lenses, bringing to light questions of morality, self-interest, and symbiotic relationships.

12. No Other World by Rahul Mehta

Why you should read it: Mehta's compelling story revolves around a young Indian-American boy, Kiran, who grows up in New York. Kiran navigates through life, as a gay Indian boy, in the 1980s and 90s, at a time where neither his sexual orientation or his ethnicity gains him favour with his peers.

13. The Sun And Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Why you should read it: Kaur's long-awaited second collection of poetry released this year, and it's as enthralling, if not more than her debut book. In this book, Kaur uses the metaphor of a flower, in terms of wilting, falling, uprooting, blooming to celebrate all aspects of love and life.

14. Selection Day by Aravind Adiga

Why you should read it: From acclaimed author Aravind Adiga comes a story of a young 14-year-old living in the slums of Mumbai. His life changes completely when he meets a privileged Muslim boy, forcing him to question his place in the world, and the hypocrisies that riddle our society.

15. The Swastika Killer by Mahendra Jakhar

Why you should read it: A murderous horror that spans six years, from the streets of Germany to the brothels of Mumbai, to gullis of Old Delhi, Jakhar pens a terrifyingly good serial killer who you wonder whether to root for. The obvious symbolism of a swastika, leads three friends in Bombay to realise that the cross-country killings are by the same person, and takes them on a journey of discovery that ends with destruction at every end.

16. The Windfall by Diksha Basu

Why you should read it: The story focuses on a married couple who, through various turns of events, begin to upscale their life. Moving from a small apartment in New Delhi to a lavish upper-class one in Gurgaon, the Jhas quickly realise that they don't fit in with the posh elite they aren't usually familiar with.

17. India’s Most Fearless: True Stories Of Modern Military Heroes by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh

Why you should read it: The combine literary force of Aroor and Singh brings us 14 incredible stories of extraordinary courage from across the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy. Now there are thousands of examples all around the country of heroism, but they chose these 14 after meeting with military personnel, their families, and others who served with them. If you want to hear about the heroes who never get their dues, this ones is for you.

18. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Why you should read it: If you're looking for a YA novel that focuses on the trials and tribulations of arranged marriage, look no further. Menon's book follows a young couple of the cusp of an earlier-decided upon marriage. However the girl was unaware that her parents had already reached the point of sending her off into a new married life. The juxtaposition of old school traditions and the essence of love is the real standout part of the book.

19. The Fragrance Of Rose: Beauty. Dignity. Ambition by Chirajit Paul

Why you should read it: An amazing story of changing one's identity to deal with the harsh realities of the world as we know it. Enter Rinita Bose – an ordinary girl, with larger than life aspirations. While relentlessly pursuing her dreams of greatness, she realises exactly what men want from a woman craving to be something. After clashing with a powerful man, she has to escape her own life by changing her identity, taking up the name Rose and making a name in Bollywood for herself. What follows is a tale of self-discovery, fame, the yearning for love, and many, many reality checks.

20. The Library Of Fates by Aditi Khorana

Why you should read it: The book is a retelling of Indian folklore. In it, Princess Amrita is to give a grand sacrifice to save her people, but something (as always) goes horribly wrong. She's left with nothing, distraught, and wanting only one thing – to warn her people. Until she finally gets the chance to. Amrita is allowed to change fate, but has to suffer the impending consequences.

21. Aadhaar: A Biometric History Of India’s 12-Digit Revolution by Shankkar Aiyar

Why you should read it: Aiyar turns a pretty bland subject (let's face it we're all avoiding getting our Aadhaar cards done) into something pretty damn interesting. He lays out how the original intent of Aadhaar has faded into an expanded application set on mapping every citizen's every movement. With implicit research, Aiyar implicates the government's duplicity, and discusses the concerns of those rallying against the move to a digital footprint via a 12-digit code.

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