These five Indian writers have created a niche of their own in English with their marvelous works of literary excellence.
Indian writing has traversed a long drawn path of restorative progress and has today come of age. The renaissance in Indian writing was initiated in the 1980’s and the fore-runner of this movement, the hallmark of Indian writing of this era was Salman Rushdie.
An Indian-British novelist and essayist, he shot to fame with his second book Midnights Children(1981).The Indian subcontinent has always been an integral subject of his works and his predominant theme of “magical realism” has always been juxtaposed with the flavors of this Land. Rushdie’s other critically acclaimed stories like “Shalimar the Clown”, “The moors last sigh” and “fury” have left an indelible mark largely due to their strongly resonating multi-cultural concerns.
“The Satanic Verses”(1988) his rather stirring fourth novel dotted with internecine threads aroused the wrath of Muslims around the world leading Iran’s Ayotollah Khomeini to release a fatwa in 1989 against the author. Rushdie sought asylum in the UK , writing with renewed vigor, his name still on the “wanted list”.
Booker Prize winner Indian novelist and activist , Arundhati Roy won laurels for her first book “God of Small Things”(2002) which is to a large extent an autobiographical account of her childhood experiences in Ayenemen. The book also ranked fourth on the New York Bestseller list of Independent fiction and rights to the book were sold to 21 countries.
Arundhati Roy since then has conspicuously lent her voice to bring to the forefront numerous social issues in India. A vehement opposer of Globalisation and Neo-Imperialism she has successfully represented the interest of the masses in a number of socially significant issues. This marked the beginning of a second era where commercial success radically changed perceptions on Indian writers.
Born in the city of Kolkatta, Vikram Seth is a man of many languages and an astute businessman. His 1471 page second novel “A Suitable Boy”(1993) brimming with the lives of the Indian diaspora received mixed reviews from critics worldover.
His third Novel” An Equal Music”(1999) based on the lives of classical musicians in Europe was a somber ode to the musicians and their music that transports to the surreal world. His writings have ascertained the tenacious grip of Indian authors and he continues to inspire young writers looking to spin a new world.
One of the most enduring figures in English Literature, Noble Laureate VS Naipaul has produced a motley of soul- stirring novels like “A house for Mr Biswas” and “India:A wounded Civilisation. He became the first writer of Indian origin to win the Booker prize for his work “In a Free State” and has since then been praised for his self-constructive narrative. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 that successfully established his authoritative regime in the world of literature.
Naipaul has also stirred controversy with his strong views on rapidly developing nations like India and issues like Muslim fundamentalism. Undaunted he continues to be the epicenter of literary development even today.
Born in the Indian city of Mumbai, Rohinton Mistry moved to settle in Canada where he wrote is first novel “One Sunday”(1983) which won the annual contributors award from the Canadian fiction magazine. One of his early novels “Such a Long Journey” won the commonwealth writers prize while “A Fine balance” was shortlisted for the Bookers Prize.
Mistry’s works are a reservoir of human emotions that rise above circumstance or condition . His characters are profound extensions of simplistic love and he dwells in the ordinary only to transform into the extra-ordinary.