There are many cultures and people in India who co-exist in this large country. Many people from around the world are mystified by India. If you are one of them, and would like to uncover more about this fascinating land, there are several excellent books about India that will give you fascinating insights and help you to understand more of what makes this nation tick.
Here are some top books about India, their pages brimming with captivating tales, and their stories that will make you want to pack your bags and travel the length and breadth of the country and explore!
A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
One of the classic novels about India, and something of a literary masterpiece, the famous A Passage to India tells of life under the British Raj in India. Based on the author’s personal experiences in India during the 1920s, it provides some excellent insights into life in the past. It focuses on the tensions between the native Indians and the colonial British during the final years of the British rule in India. A fairly serious book, it also allows you to appreciate the natural beauty and landscapes of the country, images brought to life by the wonderful words on the pages.
Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in the Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo
This is a hugely successful novel that has managed to touch the hearts of numerous readers from all around the globe. The book tracks the lives of families living in a Mumbai slum, detailing their everyday trials and tribulations while trying to get through life. It moves at a fast pace, merging together several tales, rather like a whirlwind! It’s a great book to understand more about the challenges that face people who live in India’s slum areas.
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
A memoir, Shantaram tells of the author’s time in Mumbai after he escaped from his Australian prison cell. Having been incarcerated for robbing banks, he faced the toughness of life in Mumbai, unwaveringly trying to be accepted into the gritty city life. It is easy to see how life was in a deprived city in times gone by.
City of Djinns, William Dalrymple
The author is a historian at heart and this really shines through in his writing. City of Djinns chronicles the life in Delhi from the bygone era to the present times. It is a very colourful read and is fast-paced, littered with all kinds of mesmerizing characters. From tradesmen to the gentry, from taxi drivers to home-owners, and from eunuchs to dervishes, everyone has been given their due place throughout the book. Almost certainly, your opinions about the Indian capital city of Delhi will change somewhat after reading this book.
Other fantastic books about India include The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, India Unbound by Gurcharan Das, Maximum City by Suketu Mehta, Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph, and India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha. Of course, there are many, many more too, so … get reading and be inspired!