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The New Generation of Indian Writers in English – A Quick Look
I’ve been frequenting libraries ever since I was a teenager. I grew up addicted to my Nancy Drews and Enid Blytons and never ventured far beyond the customary Jane Austen classics. When I was older, I continued with my Nora Roberts and John Grisham novels, never once daring to venture beyond my normal boundaries. It was the kind, old uncle at my local library who introduced me to the new generation of Indian writers who can tell a story with such great flair and talent that can rival any Western writer. Here is a look at a few of my favorite Indian writers in English.
Anuja Chauhan, who reportedly dislikes the tag of being a ‘chick lit’ writer, has three successful novels to her credit – ‘The Zoya Factor’, ‘Battle for Bittoria’ and ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’. Humor and romance go hand-in-hand in her novels making each one a delightful read. Her witty one-liners in Hinglish makes her readers relate to the characters in an easy way. A creative director in an advertising agency in her previous avatar, she quit her job to pursue a full-time career in writing. She is married to Niret Alva.
Ashwin Sanghi, who also writes under the name Shawn Haigins, is the author of ‘The Rozabal Line’, ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ and ‘The Krishna Key’. Ashwin Sanghi is India’s answer to Dan Brown as revealed by the plot of the successful ‘The Krishna Key’. Ashwin Sanghi forms an integral part of the group of young Indian writers who were businessmen earlier. Personally, ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ is my favorite among the three.
Amish Tripathi burst on the scene with the first novel of Shiva trilogy ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ and has never had to look back after that. ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ quickly followed establishing him as the most successful Indian writer in English in recent times. His creative depiction of Lord Shiva as a Tibetan immigrant had the readers queuing up in stores to buy the first copies of the book when the ‘The Oath of Vayuputras’ was released in February 2013.
A former investment banker, Chetan Bhagat’s ‘5-Point Someone’ and ‘One Night at the Call Center’ made him one of the best-selling Indian writers in English. Almost all of his books including ‘2 States – The Story of my Life’, which is based on his real-life love story, have been or are in the process of being made into movies. Apart from writing novels, Chetan Bhagat is known for his Bollywood screenplays and insightful newspaper columns.
And closer home, writers from Hong Kong…
We have two beautiful Indian writers in English who call Hong Kong Hong home today.
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, a former marketing and advertising executive, is most famous for her novels ‘The Long Walk Home’ (2009) and her suspense-packed thriller, ‘The Taj Conspiracy’ (2012). ‘The Taj Conspiracy’ revolves around a young conservator, Mehrunisa, who uncovers a terrorist plot to destroy the Taj and how she sets around to foil one of the biggest catastrophes that could have befallen modern India.
In addition to writing novels, Shobha Nihalani also has numerous blog posts and a humor column to her name. Her stories engage the readers in a masterful web of murder, mystery and crime. ‘The Silent Monument’ is her most famous novel along with Nine – Curse of the Kalingnan: Book 1. She has 2 more books as work in progress. You can follow her blog here.