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35 Great Books By Indian Authors Published In 2016

A mixed bag of the some of this year's best fiction and non-fiction titles by Indian authors.

Other complaints aside, this year did bring us some good books to curl up with. From fact to fiction, long reads to short stories, and graphic novels to poetry, here's what we loved in 2016.

1. The Association Of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

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Mahajan's second book is a story of small bombs and big tragedies that, somehow, also manages to retain a rippling, pulsating sense of humour.

2. Selection Day by Aravind Adiga

shireenquadri / Via

Adiga uses the trope of India's obsession with cricket to tell a coming-of-age story of a young boy in a slum.

3. The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told by Arunava Sinha

whimsybookworm / Via

A collection of a twenty-one short stories by some of the best Bengali authors, selected and translated by the book’s editor, Arunava Sinha. From Rabindranath Tagore to Nabarun Bhattacharya, Sinha gives you the perfect gateway book to great Bengali literature.

4. Half Of What I Say by Anil Menon

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Menon's book is an experiment in speculative fiction that plays with the past, present and future. It's a heady, dense read, but worth diving into.

5. Jihadi Jane by Tabish Khair

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The story of two girls set against a world of terrorism, militant brides and religious fanaticism, Khair's tautly crafted book is both brutal and compassionate.

6. Death Under The Deodars by Ruskin Bond

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Ruskin Bond writes to life a sweet old lady who gets entangled in murders and mayhem in post colonial India. There's really nothing to complain about here.

7. The Gospel Of Yudas by K.R. Meera

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K. R. Meera writes a love story with threads of naxalism and idealism, of passion and secrets; giving you a canvas that's wide, colourful and intense.

8. Things To Leave Behind by Namita Gokhale

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The story of love and history, set against the backdrop of Kumaon in 1856. For those who enjoy historical fiction, Things To Leave Behind will make for a very satisfying read.

9. Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

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A collection of surreal, beautiful stories that probe at human relations and emotions, Kanishk Tharoor's debut gives you something new each time you dip into it.

10. Zindaginama by Krishna Sobti

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Sobti's magnum opus was first published in Hindi in 1979 and tells the story of an Indian village pre-Independence, at the beginning of the 20th century. Sobti spreads her net both wide and deep, and the result is wonderfully kaleidoscopic.

11. Mr Iyer Goes To War by Ryan Lobo

bloomsburyindia / Via

In a nod to Don Quixote, Lobo's debut plays with imagination and humour as his protagonist embarks on an adventure of a lifetime.

12. It's Not About You by Ratna Vira

panmacmillanindia / Via

The story of a single mother and a bullied kid, It's Not About You opens a window to a world of familial bonds and guarded secrets.

13. The Private Life Of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur

bloomsburyindia / Via

This slim book tells the story of middle class, urban India in prose that's both arresting and unique, and deceptively simple.

14. The Liberation Of Sita by Volga, translated by T. Vijay Kumar and C. Vijayasree

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In a retelling of the Ramayana, Volga reimagines Sita's world after she's abandoned by Rama, taking her on a journey of liberation, self-realisation and independence.

15. The High Priestess Never Marries: Stories Of Love And Consequence by Sharanya Manivannan

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A collection of bold, unapologetic, and raw stories about women who are brave and flawed, passionate and sexual.

16. It's All In The Planets by Preeti Shenoy

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A love story that becomes so much more, and with characters that are beautifully fleshed out, Shenoy's latest offering is a delight to devour in a single setting.

17. I Dreamt A Horse Fell From The Sky: Poems, Fiction and Non-Fiction (1962-2015) by Adil Jussawalla

Hachette India

A collectible really, this volume gives you a full, uninterrupted view of Jussawala's ability to work across forms and styles and subject.

18. All Quiet In Vikaspuri by Sarnath Banerjee

HarperCollins India

A dystopian story set against the backdrop of Delhi's first water wars, Banerjee's latest is both funny and terrifying.

19. A Book Of Light: When A Loved One Has A Different Mind by Jerry Pinto

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After Pinto's book Em and the Big Hoom was published, several readers, moved by the story, sent him accounts of their own experiences with mental health and illness in their families. In this collection, Pinto shares a few of those stories.

20. The Great Derangement: Climate Change And The Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

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Ghosh examines the collective failure of the human race to understand and grasp the extreme nature of climate change. A frightening, important, and crucial read.

21. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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A biography of the gene, Mukherjee's new book brings to us an understanding of human heredity and its influence on our lives and choices.

22. A Long Era of Darkness by Shashi Tharoor

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Tharoor's latest is an extensively researched and beautifully narrated look at the grim realities of colonial India that debunks several misconceptions we've long held on to as facts.

23. Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover Up by Rana Ayyub

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For eight-months, Ayyub conducted an undercover investigation into the Gujarat riots. This book is an account of everything she found there.

24. India's War: The Making Of Modern South Asia 1939-1945 by Srinath Raghavan

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An exhaustive and comprehensive account of the Indian army's role in military campaigns during World War II, and how it forever altered the social and economic fabric of the country.

25. A Feast Of Vultures by Josy Joseph

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Joseph draws upon his experience as an investigative journalist to give us a troubling profile of the extent of moral bankruptcy ailing India today.

26. Democrats And Dissenters by Ramachandra Guha

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This collection of essays handles a range of timely and crucial topics and personalities. As always, Guha's sharp, insightful prose makes for a great read too.

27. Invisible Libraries by Lawrence Liang, Monica James, Danish Sheikh, Amy Trautwein and Another

yodapress / Via

A book about the love of books and stories, this collection becomes both a tribute and an ode to the lure of libraries.

28. The Front Page Murders by Puja Changoiwala

hachette_india / Via

A true crime story about one of India's most chilling and high profile series of murders and the man behind them.

29. River Of Flesh And Other Stories: The Prostituted Woman In Indian Short Fiction by Ruchira Gupta

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Edited by Gupta, this collection is unique in both its subject and approach, bringing together 21 short stories about trafficked and prostituted women, from some of the best writers in the country.

30. First Hand: Graphic Non-Fiction From India

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The first volume of an annual anthology of graphic non-fiction from some of the country's best artists and storytellers is definitely worth checking out.

31. House Spirit: Drinking In India - Stories, Essays, Poems by Palash Krishna Mehrotra

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A collection of stories, essays and poems that look at India's long, involved tradition of drinking and how it has grown.

32. Hedon by Priyanka Mookerjee

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Mookerjee's debut is intense and angsty, and just angry and vulnerable enough to tell a convincing coming-of-age story about first loves and heartbreaks.

33. Invisible People by Harsh Mander

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A collection of stories that tell of courage and resilience in the people coping with poverty, disabilities and prejudices. Mander's book connects young India to a world that's often ignored.

34. Simply Nanju by Zainab Sulaiman

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Sulaiman sets a whodunnit mystery in a school for kids with special needs, creating a story that is both poignant and funny, and immensely important.

35. The Gita For Children by Roopa Pai

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Pai's retelling of the Gita is meant for kids, but adults are probably going to love it too. It simplifies a text we usually consider daunting, and does it in a way that keeps both its essence and meaning alive.