India Reading List
I have always loved Indian authors- their storytelling is so vivid, the characters and places really come to life. Even when not written by an Indian, the stories out of India have always interested me. India has a fascinating history, and I have chosen books from several periods.
They have the most exciting scriptures- the Mahabharata, while long, is a very exciting and captivating story. It was written as long ago as 900 BC. I chose this version by Krishna Dharma because it’s enjoyable to read but doesn’t leave major parts of the story out (the original is over 200,000 verse lines long and over ten times the length of the Odyssey and the Iliad combined). The Palace of Illusions is another look at the Mahabharata from the main female character’s point of view. India is full of rich history, with colorful characters and gods.
Mountain of Light is set during the fall of the Punjab to the British and follows the famous Koh-i-noor diamond all the way to Queen Victoria’s crown. Under a Marble Sky is about the building of the Taj Mahal (this one is not the most factual or literary, but still an interesting look at the peak of the Mughal Empire).
Other books, such as The God of Small Things, The Death of Vishnu, and White Tiger, are set in more contemporary times and have a less grand scope, telling stories of specific characters or family life.
City of Djinns is a detailed look at Delhi and what shaped that ancient city. The descriptions in it bring to life the different neighborhoods of the huge city and tell the history of each.