Get to know our Indian Women Authors

Writing is magic. It’s an art. It is a phenomenon so powerful that it changes people, their lives, and their thought-process by endowing them with a glimpse of another world. A refuge and a nemesis!

In India, women authors have created a mark for themselves, bringing laurels for the country. They have been inspirations, for millions of other writers who want to create magic. The art of story-telling, be it fiction or non-fiction, a grueling task, Indian authors have triumphed it.

So, if you too have a story inside of you, pushing you to write and make a difference, this list is really going to inspire you. So, get set and go!

Jhumpa Lahiri 

Be it revealing the nascent and embryonic growth of communism in India or talking about the identity of a woman like an immigrant, no one does it better than Lahiri. Millions of readers from all across the world have read her books like ‘The Namesake’ and ‘The Lowland’, which endows power to the reader. Her must-read book is ‘The Lowland’, which deals with family, the delicate relationship between brothers, and the consequences of the choices each person makes. The book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2015.

Arundhati Roy 

Are you craving for reading a book whose every line is like a quote that defines your life, your politics or your country? If yes, you have to read Arundhati Roy, one of the most famous Indian authors. Her books have marked Indian literature as exemplary, conferring an international position to India. Her books mostly revolve around social justice and the anguish that various social groups suffer. Her must-read book is ‘The God of Small Things’, which brought her fame and popularity. As can be guessed from the title, the theme of the book is about how even small things affect people’s lives.

Kiran Desai 

A powerful name in Indian literature, Desai has weaved so many imaginative and life-changing characters through her books that resonate so well with Indians. She tugs at the reader’s heart, especially when it comes to describing the lives of her characters when they struggle to “make it in America.”Her must-read book is ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, the theme of which revolves around migration and living between two worlds.

Meena Kandasamy

A popular name, especially when it comes to women struggles, Kandasamy is also a heart-touching poet. A common figure in Jaipur Literature Festivals, she is like a mentor, a storehouse of energy, ideas and revolution. Her novel, ‘The Gypsy Goddess’, is hard-hitting and while her writing style is unique and takes some getting used to, the reader cannot but be horrified by the injustice meted out to the villagers, such is her talent with words.

Kota Neelima

A journalist with years of experience in political writing, Kota has written a lot on farmer suicides, especially in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Her fictional books like ‘Shoes of the Dead’ are life-changing, endowing you with the experience of what loss utterly feels like. Adept with words, she weaves it like paint-strokes on a canvas, bringing out the blend between abstract and the real. An amazing mentor, Kota has relentlessly pursued the real-life stories of thousands of helpless farmers of India, revealing their pain and misery with her words, which leaves the reader utterly speechless and in a limbo.

Sudha Murthy

Simple yet significant, her writing about real-life women characters is something any woman can immediately connect with. Her book ‘Softly falls the Bakula’ reveals the hesitation and craving of a woman, for her own identity, her own name. Her work, often summarized into little books with few pages, is like a commendable journey in itself. Her must read book is ‘How I Taught my Grandmother to Read & Other Stories’, which was based on her childhood experiences being raised by her grandparents.

Mahasweta Devi 

Mahasweta Devi is a writer and a social activist who has dedicated her life to the struggles faced by tribal people in states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Her works in Bengali have been translated to English and include such works as ‘Breast Stories’, ‘Of Women, Outcasts, Peasants, and Rebels’, etc. Her stories are powerful and reverberate with the struggles of the dispossessed, which along with her activism, makes for compelling reading. Her must read book is ‘Of Women, Outcastes, Peasants and Rebels’ which is a collection of short stories about oppression and has riveting characters and storylines.

Anita Desai

Anita Desai is one of the most accomplished writers in India, and she has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize as many as 3 times. She has also won the Sahitya Akademi Award, as well as the 2014 Padma Bhushan Award for her contribution to literature. Her must read book is ‘In Custody’, which is one of her books that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, is very touching and at the same time funny, revolving around one lecturer in a small town and the calamities that befall him.

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

A well-known contemporary author, her work is sarcastic, trendy and full of enthusiasm. She started as a blogger, confessing about every readable incident of her life. It’s fun to read her work, pure fun. She writes her books with an autobiographical tone but they relate well to all young women in today’s world. She is the author of ‘Cold Feet’, ‘You Are Here’ and ‘Confessions of a Listmaniac’. She tweets on current issues and trends, writing and feminism with a lot of wit and verve.

Nivedita Menon 

A phenomenal academician and writer of women’ rights and feminism, Menon can be literally worshipped for her thought process. Talk to her about anything, be it political theory, international relations, domestic politics, subaltern topics or colonialism, she will bring out a perspective you must never had even thought of. She is the author of ‘Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law’, ‘Seeing like a Feminist’ and ‘Sexualities’. She is one of the leading names in Indian non-fiction circle, someone who has written a lot of political pieces on political and social movements.

For sure, each of these writers is an inspiration. Go ahead and read their books and experience how they change your life. And in case, you too want to be read, start writing. Don’t be shy and hide your skills. Who knows, your name can be in this list, too!


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