Literary Representations of India (Fiction and Nonfiction)

A decade ago, a couple of friends of mine invited me to go to India with their family. I declined, both out of inertia and the fact that I wasn't sure my friends' parents and their extended family in India would be okay with having a friend tag along. Sometimes I wish I had said yes, though. I always like to read fiction that's set in India. Years ago, it was Kipling: Kim, "Without Benefit of Clergy," "The Man Who Would Be King," etc. Right now I'm a little over halfway through Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. But Margaret Cho's excellent posts about India are making me want to continue my India reading with some Rushdie. Any particular recommendations?


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Clancy, the book everyone was talking about last year was Suketu Mehta's Maximum City, though I would also recommend Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide (I discussed both on my blog at various points).

On Rushdie, you can't go wrong with Midnight's Children...

BTW Thanks for the links; Margaret Cho is always entertaining.

Rohinton Mistry is really

Rohinton Mistry is really good.
And so are Bharati Mukherjee and Meena Alexander.

I have no Rushdie recs though, sorry. I've started his but never finished them. Yet.

Holy Crap, I Might Have Something That's Responsive

I read one of his earlier works, 1981's Midnight's Children; it's very dense and difficult to get through, but I think it compares favorably to other recent examples of magical realism, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez (sorry, I don't have much of a canon to draw on).

READ The God of Small Things!

I finished The God of Small Things last night. Everyone should read it; it's excellent. As a side note, I didn't watch any TV yesterday. Well, I did turn on the Alito hearings when I was on the treadmill, but that was only for 25 minutes and 37 seconds. Point is, I didn't watch any DVDs or trash TV. I guess the last time that happened was when I was at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival back in 2003. I usually don't watch any TV until about 6:00 p.m., and sometimes not until around 11:00 p.m. as I'm winding down and getting ready for bed.

Some pretty dire stuff

Some pretty dire stuff happens but Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance is one of the finest novels of India ever written. Another long term favourite is Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy: he is said to do to 1940's India what Tolstoy did to 1800's Russia.

Aniruddha Bahal's Bunker 13

Aniruddha Bahal's Bunker 13 is one of the few fun books on India I've read. It's got a fast-moving plot, a great protagonist and an ending that took me by surprise. Lots of fun.

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