Best books about indian culture
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There is such a wealth of information available for travellers heading to India, it is often hard to know where to start. While novels can often seem more realistic than non-fiction, travelogues from Western writers also give a humorous, insightful take on the mind-boggling country. You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. Buy Shantaram now.
In Light of India
India has a unique literary history and tradition that extends back over 3, years. Indian English literature may have a relatively shorter history, but is nonetheless rich with award-winning and critically acclaimed masterpieces no book lover should miss out on. The book is a thrilling first-person narrative told from the perspective of Balram Halwai, a young man from a poverty-stricken small village who moves to Delhi to work as a chauffeur for the elite. From her arranged marriage to Nathan, a farmer, to the changes brought about by the advent of a large tannery in their village, the novel covers a rich range of subjects with uniquely gripping prose. This historical Indian book by Khushwant Singh was widely revered during its release in for bringing a human perspective to the partition of British India into India and Pakistan. While most accounts of the partition at the time primarily focused on political aspects, Singh recounted the event in terms of human loss and horror.
A Passage to India is one of my favourite books about India. Some are by Indian authors, and some are by foreigners who have spent a lot of time in India. Both perspectives are useful and valid, and can help visitors struggling to understand this complex culture. However, some of the most popular books about India are not that great … if you ask me …. I tried to read Shantaram when I was living in Delhi, but ended up literally throwing it across the room after I was about three-quarters of the way through.
Make Your Own List. Guidebooks look pretty superfluous at this point. None of them is particularly distinguished in terms of writing or perception. Yes, I think so. To take an interest in India is really to take an interest in a vast and very complex country — more continent than country, in fact.