Hitchhiking through Great Indian Fiction!

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I’m a late-reader; I started reading books only in my early twenties, and how! My reading world was all about Saramagos, Calvinos, Krzhizhanovskys and the likes. Be it English or Telugu, the blogging community was my first book recommendation engine. One man hugely influenced my reading choices during 2009-2012 phase. I was possessed with European fiction, though I’ve had read considerable amount of American, and bits and pieces of global literature.

From around 2012, I started reading in Hindi. Premchand has always been around, thanks to the Hindi Prachar Samithi’s certifications I did in school, but Parsai was the real game changer for me. Manto happened at around the same time. After that, there was no looking back.

Moving to Bengaluru in 2015 sealed the deal. Indian theatre became my best book-recommendation-engine, helping me consciously choose Indian literature. Around 2017-18 or so, A and I finally started interacting. (Given that we knew each other through common friends for eons, that was some delay!) We discuss everything under the sun, but our primary binding agent has been Indian fiction. We’d exploited lockdown to read together. We run an alternate WhatsApp University. 😉

The following list contains fictional works in Indian languages that I read, mostly from 2014.

  1. limited it to fiction (short stories, novels, plays) and didn’t include poetry or non-fiction. So, Parsai had to miss out. I read Tagores and Premchands eons ago, so didn’t include them too.
  2. The ones that are marked in bold are read in original language, rest all are translations in English.
  3. Excluded Telugu because, hey, it’s my language. Even if I’m terribly under-read, it deserves a list on its own. 🙂
  4. Whatever I could review for pustakam.net, I’ve given the links.
  5. Also included are the books I’m yet to read. I’ve made at least a little progress with most of them.

I hope to keep this as a running document. I hope it helps me make more judicious choices. I hope to read literature of as many Indian languages as possible. If travelers can put up world maps on wall and dream about destinations, why can’t readers do the same? 🙂


  1. Assamese
    1. Written in Tears: Arupa Patangia Kalita
  2. Bengali
    1. Virigin Fish of Babughat: Lokenath Bhattacharya
    2. Dozakhnama: Rabisankar Bal (TBR)
  3. English
    1. Diwali in Muzaffarnagar: Tanuj Solanki
    2. These Hills Called Home: Temsula Ao
    3. The Year of the Hawks: Kanwalijit Deol
    4. Calling Sehmat: Harinder Sikka
    5. The Adivasi Will Not Dance: Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar
    6. My Father’s Garden: Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar
    7. Karna’s Wife: Kavita Kane
    8. Ramayana’s Stories in South India: Paula Richman
  4. Gujarati
    1. Fence: Ila Arab Mehta
  5. Hindi
    1. Andha Yug: Dharamveer Bharathi
    2. Topi Shukla: Rahi Masoom Raza
    3. Neem ka Ped: Rahi Masoom Raza
    4. Andha Goan: Rahi Masoom Raza (TBR)
    5. Shrilal Shukla ki Lokpriya Kahaniyan
    6. Mitro Marjani: Krishna Sobti
    7. Kashinath Sinha Prathinidhi Kahaniyan (TBR)
    8. Tamas: Bheeshm Sahani
    9. Ashad Ka Ek Din: Mohan Rakesh
    10. Jhoota Sach: Yashpal (TBR)
    11. Asghar Wajahat
      1. Bheedtantra
      2. Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya O Jamyai Nai: Asghar Wajahat
  6. Kannada
    1. Mohanaswamy: Vasudendra
    2. Ondu Badi Kadalu: Vivek Shanbag
    3. Tejo Tungabhadra: Vasudendra
    4. Deepavirada Daariyalli: Sushant Kotian
    5. Ijaya: Poornima Malagamani
    6. Madhavi: Anupama Niranjana
    7. Mookajjiya KanasugaLu: Shivaram Karanth (TBR)
    8. No Presents Please: Jayant Kaikini
    9. Collected Plays: Girish Karnad
    10. Shiva’s Drum: Chandrasekhara Kambara
    11. Shikarasoorya: Chandrasekhara Kambara (TBR)
  7. Kashmiri
  8. Konkani
    1. Konkani Kathavali (TBR)
    2. Jeeva Kodale? Chaha Kudiyale? – Damodar Mauzo (read in Kannada)
  9. Maithili
  10. Malayalam
    1. MT Vasudevan Nair
      1. Bhima, Lone Warrior (read in English & Kannada)
      2. Naalukettu (read in Kannada)
    2. Vaikom Basheer
      1. Poovan Banana
      2. Pathummayude Aadu/Balya Sakhi
    3. A Preface to Man: Subhash Chandran (TBR)
    4. Aliyah, The Last Jew in The Village: Sethu (TBR)
    5. The Lesbian Cow: Indu Menon
    6. Anti-Clock: VR James (TBR)
    7. The man who learnt to fly, but could not land: Thachom Poyil Rajeevan (TBR)
    8. KR Meera in Translation
      1. Hangwoman
      2. The Poison of Love
      3. The Unseeing Light of the Idol
      4. Yellow is the Color of Longing
      5. Angel’s Beauty Spots
      6. The Gospel of Yudas
      7. Qabar
  11. Marathi
    1. A Faceless Evening: Gangadhar Gadgil
    2. Cobalt Blue: Sachin Kundalkar
    3. Anandi Gopal: SM Joshi
  12. Manipuri
    1. Seducing the Rain God: Smriti Kumar Sinha (TBR)
  13. Nepali
  14. Odia
    1. The Greatest Odia Stories Ever Told (TBR)
  15. Punjabi
    1. Pinjar: Amrita Pritam
  16. Sanskrit
  17. Santali
  18. Sindhi
  19. Tamil
    1. One Part Woman: Perumal Murugan
    2. Poonachi: Perumal Murugan
    3. JJ: Some Jottings: Sundara Ramaswamy
    4. Heat: Poomani
    5. A Night with a Black Spider: Ambai
    6. Beasts of Burden: Imayam
    7. Pathinettavattu Ashtakkodu
  20. Urdu
    1. Manto, Manto & Manto! 🙂
    2. Preeto & Other Stories: The Male Gaze in Urdu Literature
    3. Pigeons of the Domes: Stories on Communalism
    4. A Chronicle of Peacocks: Intizar Hussain
    5. Dastaan-e-Lapataa: Manzoor Ehtesham (TBR)
    6. Ismat Chugtai
    7. India Partitioned: The Other Face of Freedom

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