When I think of summer, I think of the endless days of school summer vacations. We had nothing but time to kill; it was when I’d first started reading. What started with comic book exchanges with friends turned into sharing and discussing the latest bestseller, making me want to consume every possible book I could get my hands on.
Those days are far behind me, but my love of reading remains. And I’m here to share it with you. If you’re a voracious reader and would like to add something new to your bookshelf, look no further – here are 6 books by Indian women authors you should have on your reading list.
This is by no means an exhaustive list; these are just some of the many wonderful books written by women that will give you something to look forward to after a long day of work. So, without further ado, let’s go!
6 must-read books by contemporary Indian female authors
1. When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
Meena Kandasamy is a poet, writer, translator, and activist whose work explores the intersection between gender and caste. Her 2017 book titled, When I Hit You, Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife took the literary world by storm for being a gritty story about a young wife trapped in an abusive marriage with a seemingly modern man.
If you’re looking to expand your horizons and let more political commentary into your life, Meena Kandasamy’s work should be on the top of your list.
2. The Women Who Forgot To Invent Facebook and Other Stories by Nisha Susan
Co-founder of the award-winning feminist zine The Ladies Finger, Nisha Susan is a writer, editor, and columnist. Her debut collection of short stories, Women Who Forgot To Invent Facebook and Other Stories is a riot to say the least – this eclectic mix of stories paints a vibrant picture of a country in the midst of the internet revolution, with women in the centre of it.
From a woman obsessed with her boyfriend’s dead girlfriend to a writer drowning amidst Twitter trolls, the book is a perfect mix of entertaining and hard-hitting stories that will leave you wanting more.
3. No Nation For Women by Priyanka Dubey
Priyanka Dubey is a multimedia investigative reporter with several accolades to her name. In her first book, No Nation For Women, she unearths the reasons behind India’s notorious reputation as one of the world’s rape capitals. Having traversed across the country over a period of 6 years, Dubey has uncovered stories of rape that never make it into mainstream media.
No Nation For Women is a hard-hitting piece of work that is meant to make us uncomfortable – it showcases the tight grip the patriarchy has on Indian women.
4. Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale
Amrita Mahale is an IIT and Stanford graduate, and an ex-resident of the Sangam House residency program. In her debut novel, Milk Teeth, she explores the complexities of class, sexuality, and gentrification in the part of Mumbai where Ira and Kartik, the protagonists of the story, grew up.
Milk Teeth was longlisted for the JCB Prize For Literature in 2019.
5. Boys Don’t Cry by Meghna Pant
A gripping book that takes you through the tumultuous realities of modern marriages, Boys Don’t Cry is yet another feather in multiple award-winning author Meghna Pant’s cap.
When Maneka Pataudi is arrested for the alleged murder of her ex-husband, a chilling confession is made. Maneka reveals the insidious truth about her abusive marriage, but here’s the catch: she may or may not be telling the truth.
If women-centric mysteries are your thing, this should be on your bookshelf.
6. Magical Women, edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan
In a brilliant, enthralling anthology of stories, you will find something magical these women have come together to create. Edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Magical Women is an eclectic mix of stories by Shreya Ila Anasuya, Trisha Das, Nikita Pandey, and Kiran Manral to name a few.
From four goddesses getting into a brawl to a young weaver initiated into the art of creating a universe, every single story in Magical Women will transport you into a world you’ve never known.
If you’re looking for something gripping, interesting, and heartwarming to read this summer, look no further. The books in this list will last you a while!
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