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Books / Book Chapters

An obedient father : a novel by Akhil Sharma
Print Location: IN 813.6 S531O (IIC)
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2014
 
Ram Karan, a corrupt official in New Delhi, lives with his widowed daughter and his little granddaughter. Bumbling, sad, ironic, Ram is also a man corroded by a terrible secret. Taking the reader deep into a world of Indian families and politics, gangsters and movie stars, riots and morgues, this novel presents a character as ftormented, and morally ambiguous as one of Dostoevsky’s antiheroes.
 
Award: Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award

Delhi : a novel by Khushwant Singh
Print Location: 823.91 K45D (IICIN)
New Delhi : Penguin Books, 2016
 

Family matters by Rohinton Mistry
Print Location: IN 813.54 M678F (IIC)
New York : Vintage International, 2003
 
Rohinton Mistry’s novel is a domestic drama and an intently observed portrait of present-day Bombay in all its vitality and corruption. At the age of seventy-nine, Nariman Vakeel, already suffering from Parkinson’s disease, breaks an ankle and finds himself wholly dependent on his family. His step-children, Coomy and Jal, have a spacious apartment (in the inaptly named Chateau Felicity), but are too squeamish and resentful to tend to his physical needs. 

Nariman must now turn to his younger daughter, Roxana, her husband, Yezad, and their two sons, who share a small, crowded home. Their decision will test not only their material resources but, in surprising ways, all their tolerance, compassion, integrity, and faith. 

Interpreter of maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Print Location: IN 813.54 L183I (IIC)
London : Harper Collins, 2014
The stories tell the lives of Indians in exile, of people navigating between the strict traditions they`ve inherited and the baffling New World they must encounter every day. An interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing revelation, a young Midwestern woman is drawn into a tantalizing affair with a married Bengali man, the eccentric, nervous Mrs Sen needs to learn to drive if she is to keep her job minding eleven-year-old Eliot after school; a young couple exchange confessions each night as they struggle to cope with the loss of their baby and their failing marriage; and Mr. Pirzada, whose watch is always set to Decca time, worries about his family back in Pakistan.

Award: the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award 2000
Malgudi days by R.K. Narayan
Print Location: IN 823.912 N218M (IIC)
New York : Penguin Books, 2006
 
Introducing this collection of stories, R. K. Narayan describes how in India 'the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character and thereby a story'. Malgudi Days, featuring short fiction written over almost forty years, is the marvelous result. Here Narayan portrays an astrologer, a snake-charmer, a postman, a vendor of pies and chappatis - all kinds of people, drawn in full color and endearing domestic detail. And under his magician's touch the whole imaginary city of Malgudi springs to life, revealing the essence of India and of human experience.

Private life of an Indian prince by Mulk Raj Anand
Print Location: IN 823.914 A533P (IIC)
New Delhi : Harper Perennial, 2008
 
Anand’s most profound study of human nature, Private Life of an Indian Prince, is the story of a man’s compelling love for a woman. It is at the same time a historical novel of unusual power, showing the demise of the princely states with the birth of a free India. Maharaja Ashok Kumar of Sham Pur asserts complete independence for his small hill-state rather than join the Indian Union. A febrile romantic, who has inherited more of the vices than the virtues of his ancestors, he is encouraged by his nymphomaniac mistress Ganga Dasi, a powerful and illiterate hill-woman whom he has installed in his palace to the exclusion of his three legitimate maharanis. To feed his mistress’s greed, he extorts large sums of money from his starving peasantry; this provokes a revolt in Sham Pur which in turn incurs the extreme displeasure of the Indian government in Delhi.
 
His personal impulses and passions blind the Maharaja from the larger social issues involved. He meets Ganga’s challenge with hysterical tears, and those of his people and the Government of India with melodramatic gestures and self-deluding lies. Needless to say he loses both contests. Exiled to London, he seduces a shop girl with all his former princely finesse. But he cannot forget his mistress and his love for her brings about his downfall.

The circle of reason by Amitav Ghosh
Print Location: IN 823.914 G427C (IIC)
New Delhi : Penguin Books, 2009
 
Following the form of the raga in Indian classical music, Amitav Ghosh slowly builds the tempo of The Circle of Reason. The first part spans several decades, the second unfolds over a few weeks, and the third races through a day.
Ghosh's debut novel centres on Alu, an orphan enlisted by his foster father as a soldier in his crusade against the forces of myth and unreason. Suspected of terrorism, they are about to be arrested when a tragic accident forces Alu to flee his village. Pursued by a misguided police officer, Alu finds his way through Calcutta to Goa and on to a trawler that runs illegal immigrants to Africa.

The death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Print Location: IN 813.6 S961D (IIC)
New York : W. W. Norton, 2012
 
Vishnu, the odd-job man in a Bombay apartment block, lies dying on the staircase landing: Around him unfold the lives of the building's inhabitants: warring housewives, lovesick teenagers, a grieving widower. In a fevered state, Vishnu looks back on his love affair with the seductive Padmini and wonders if he might actually be the god Vishnu, guardian of the entire universe.

The inheritance of loss by Kiran Desai
Print Location: IN 813.54 D441I (IIC)
New York : Grove Press, 2006
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s novel is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

Award: National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award and Man Booker Prize 
The lowland : a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
Print Location: IN 813.54 L183L (IIC)
Gurgaon : Random House India, 2014
 
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement: he will risk all for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America. But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he comes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife. 
 
Award: Shortlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize 2013 .

The namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Print Location: IN 813.54 L183N (IIC)
London :Harper Collins, 2014
Gogol is named after his father's favourite author. But growing up in an Indian family
in suburban America, the boy starts to hate the awkward name and itches to cast if off,
along with the inherited values it represents. Determined to live a life far removed from that of
his parents. Gogol sets off on his own path only to discover that the search for identity depends on
much more than a name.



 

The siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell
Print Location: IN 823.914 F245S (IIC)
New York : New York Review Books, 2004
 
India, 1857--the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years. 

Farrell's story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all, moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion--at once brutal, blundering, and wistful--is soon revealed. 

The Siege of Krishnapur is a companion to Troubles, about the Easter 1916 rebellion in Ireland, and The Singapore Grip, which takes place just before World War II, as the sun begins to set upon the British Empire. Together these three novels offer an unequaled picture of the follies of empire.

Twilight in Delhi : a novel by Ahmed Ali
Print Location: IN 823.912 A398T (IIC)
New York : New Directions Classic, 1994
 
Set in nineteenth-century India between two revolutionary moments of change, Twilight in Delhi brings history alive, depicting most movingly the loss of an entire culture and way of life. As Bonamy Dobree said, "It releases us into a different and quite complete world. Mr. Ahmed Ali makes us hear and smell Delhi...hear the flutter of pigeons’ wings, the cries of itinerant vendors, the calls to prayer, the howls of mourners, the chants of qawwals, smell jasmine and sewage, frying ghee and burning wood." The detail, as E.M. Forster said, is "new and fascinating," poetic and brutal, delightful and callous. 
First published in 1940. Twilight in Delhi was widely acclaimed by critics and hailed in India as a major literary event. Long since considered a landmark novel, it is now available in the U.S. as a New Directions Classic. Twilight in Delhi has also been translated into French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Urdu.

Unaccustomed earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Print Location: IN 813.54 L183U (IIC)
Gurgaon : Random House India, 2014

The stories of Unaccustomed Earth focus on second-generation immigrants making and remaking lives, loves and identities in England and America. We follow brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and lovers, in stories that take us from Boston and London to Bombay and Calcutta. 
What the body remembers : a novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin
Print Location: IN 813.54 B182W (IIC)
New York : Anchor Books, 2001
It's 1937, and with her father in debt, motherless sixteen-year-old Roop learns she is to become the second wife of Sardarji, a wealthy Sikh landowner whose first wife, Satya, has failed to bear him a child. Roop believes that the strong-willed Satya will treat her as a sister, but their relationship swiftly becomes ominous and complicated. What the Body Remembers is also Satya's story. Mortified when Sardarji marries Roop, Satya resorts to desperate measures to maintain her place in society and her husband's heart. Sardarji himself struggles as the India he knows begins to change when separatist tensions between Hindus and Muslims trap the Sikhs in a horrifying middle ground and the departing British prepare to divide the land into India and Pakistan.

Award: the Commonwealth Writers' Prize