1) Anita Desai
“Wherever you go, it becomes a part of you somehow.”
Born in 1937, Anita Desai knew from her childhood that she wanted to be a writer. She had lots of books in her house and dreamed of having her own books in them one day. She is a successful writer now and has won many awards for her writing. Three of her famous books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize- In Custody, Clear Light of The Day and Fasting, Feasting. She won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for her book, “Fire on the Mountains” in 1978.
2) Arundhati Roy
“I am completely a loner. In my head I want to feel I can be anywhere. There is a sort of recklessness that being a loner allows me.”
Arundhati Roy is a brilliant writer and dedicated activist. She bagged the Booker Prize for her first novel “The God of Small Things”. After this novel, she focused mainly on political and social injustice. She was actively involved in the protests against hydroelectric dam project in Madhya Pradesh. This was reflected in her book “The Cost of Living”.
3) Jhumpa Lahiri
She is the daughter of Nilanjana Sudeshna, a Bengali immigrant. She focused most of her writings around the life of immigrant children. Interpreter of Maladies, her first novel was based on the lives of Indian immigrants- what problems and generation gap immigrants have to face. The book was largely acclaimed by people abroad but was criticized by Indians. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000. She has also won O.Henry award, PEN/Hemingway Award for Best Fiction Debut of the Year for the same.
4) Kiran Desai
Kiran Desai was a “welcome proof that India’s encounter with the English language continues to give birth to new children, endowed with lavish gifts.”
Like mother, like daughter. She has got writing in her blood. Her first novel Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard won the prestigious Betty Trask Award. Just like her mother, she went on to win the Booker Prize in 2006 for her book “The inheritance of loss”. The book got a wonderful review in the most popular daily New York Times- “Kiran Desai’s extraordinary new novel manages to explore…just about every contemporary international issue: globalization, multiculturalism, economic inequality, fundamentalism and terrorist violence. Despite being set in the mid-1980, it seems the best kind of post-9/11 novel.”
5) Mahasweta Devi
Mahasweta Devi campaigned for tribal rights through her writings. The main theme of the books was the oppression of tribals and their struggles to live a dignified life. Her novels have inspired many films like Rudaali. She is the recipient of Jnanpith Award and Magsaysay Award.
6) Shashi Deshpande
Sahitya Akademi Award winner, lawyer, dramatist and a Sanskrit scholar- Shashi Deshpande is all of them! She started her writing career with the magazine “Onlooker”. At the same time she began writing short stories which were published in leading magazines like Femina, Eve`s Weekly etc. She was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel “That Long Silence”. This novel was received with great reviews and appreciation.
7) Indira Goswami
“Writing was never my career. It was a passion… I write to enjoy my life. Without writing, I would have been a dead person”
She dared to venture in a field which was looked down upon by the society. She fought for women`s rights through her pen. As per her, the women`s needs was natural and society should accept it. The protagonist in most of her novels was a socially oppressed woman, who ultimately gets so frustrated that she destructs herself. Feminism reflected in all her novels. She was a brilliant writer who could pen down anything she saw and experienced. Nilakanthi Braj was about the windows of Vrindavan. “Ahiran” and “Chenabar Srot” described about her travelling experience in various parts of Madhya Pradesh, Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh with her husband. She won Jnanpith Award, the award of highest standing in literature, in 2001. She was a gem from Assam and was honored with the highest civilian award in the state of Assam- Asom Ratna.
8) B M Suhara
She was born on October 11, 1952 in Thikkoti district, Kerala. After Kamala Das, she is considered the next best writer in Malayali Literature. Her notable works include – Venal, Braanth, and Choyichi etc. She was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2008 for her commendable work in Malayali literature.
9) Shobha De
She is a well known writer as well a popular columnist in Times of India. She is the Jackie Collins of India. She started as a founder and editor of many magazines namely Stardust, Celebrity and Society. As the name suggests, her columns mainly focused on the social life and events in Mumbai. “Socialite evenings” lays bare the truth about the so called “upper class”. It is a controversial novel about rich families in which no one has time, love or care to spare!
10) Bharati Mukherjee
Since a small age, Bharati Mukherjee knew she wanted to become a writer. She completed her schooling and graduation from Calcutta and completed her further studies from US. Her novel “The Tiger`s Daughter” revolves around a girl who returns back to India from abroad and how her views and thinking is completely changed. This novel was inspired by own experiences.