Set on the Subcontinent

The Indian subcontinent has an appealing allure with sites of incredible natural beauty, a myriad of cultures, and a complex history. Even if you can’t manage an actual trip to India, reading books set in India can give you a small taste of the complexity of Indian society. In no particular order, here’s a sample of books to get you started on your adventure.

The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan

 

Padma Viswanathan brings to life the story of one member of a Brahmin household from 1896 through 1960 in The Toss of a Lemon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey Sujata Massey has a new mystery series set in 1920s Bombay and based loosely on that city’s first female lawyer. The series begins with The Widows of Malabar Hill and continues with The Satapur Moonstone.

 

 

 

 

Also set in the 1920s, but in Calcutta rather than Bombay, Abir Mukherjee’s Sam Wyndham series features a Scottish detective with an Indian partner. These books provide an interesting contrast between the members of the British ruling class and the Indians who fill many of the government positions.

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee  A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee  Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

Arundhati Roy’s books have been critically acclaimed, including a Booker Prize for The God of Small Things.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy    The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Any of these works of literature will transport you to a new world full of family drama, cultural nuances, and unfamiliar landscapes.

The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth The Romantics by Pankaj Mishra Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya

You’ll be intrigued by the locations you’ll visit in these books, so you may want to check out our travel guide to India to learn more. You can also get more information through Global Road Warrior, an online resource available through the library webpage. Just sign in with your library card number!