Leave a comment

Indian authors writing in English language

By Ankita Ghosh

While we were busy reading mostly American and European authors to satiate our hunger for novels written in the English language, a quiet and cautious breed of writers were steadily reinventing the idea of English language novels for us, here in the heartland of the subcontinent.

These writers came to be loosely known as ‘Indian authors writing in English language’. As the 21st century progressed and our desperate need to be readily anglicized was reversed by the chronic desire to be homebound, more and more people began reading them and soon they became a phenomenon.
These authors usually fall into two distinct categories. The first category of authors is headed by Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh, Manju Kapur, Anuja Chauhan and the likes. They have equally been loved and loathed. The middle class that was reluctantly welcoming English into their households, loved them as they spoke of a transitioning India and wrote about its average citizens. Read more
Source: Meri News


Leave a comment

India: Delhi Is The Most ‘Well-Read’ City Of 2016 And Chetan Bhagat’s Book The Highest-Selling One

The national capital has emerged as the most well-read city in India for the fourth consecutive year with Bengaluru and Mumbai taking the second and third spot, respectively, says a survey conducted by Amazon India.

According to the ‘Annual Reading Trends Report for 2016’ conducted by Amazon.in, Karnal, Vadodara and Patna are first-time entrants in the Top 20 list having bought more books than cities like Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow this year.

Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘One Indian Girl’ emerged as the highest selling book of this year followed by JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II’.

The third spot is taken by exam preparation book ‘Word Power Made Easy’ written by Norman Lewis, Robin Sharma’s non-fiction ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ was at fourth position. Read more

Source: Huffington Post


Leave a comment

Impressive line-up of Indian authors at Sharjah book fair

The 35th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair will witness participation by an impressive line-up of Indian writers, actors, chefs and entrepreneurs. The region’s most anticipated book fair and cultural event will take place from November 2 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Among the celebrated names are Javed Akthar, a leading film script writer and lyricist, Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, authors Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Tharoor, Kanishk Tharoor, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and cinema personalities such as Mammootty, Shatrughan Sinha, Shilpa Shetty, and many others. Read more


Leave a comment

Publishing in India: ‘We Don’t Sell Authors, The Authors Sell Us’

Rupa’s chairman R.K. Mehra on the big changes and challenges in the publishing industry: The Outlook

‘Originality of idea, continuity of thought and a clear target market. Yes, Chetan Bhagat is one of the bestselling authors, but there are many such under Rupa’s banner. And what is important for us is not just big names; we ensure we take on everyone we think must be read. We don’t sell authors, authors sell us! Of course, we facilitate media interviews and book signing and other interactions, but that’s not much. Also, social media has a big role in book promotion.’

Read More


2 Comments

Asia Uncensored: India’s new readers–why an entire nation is only buying commercial fiction?

Editor’s note: This is the first of Asia Uncensored blog debates that we are kicking off our Blogs section with, curated by our blogs editor Rheea Mukherjee.

The influx of commercial fiction in India is an undeniable fact. Is it good? Is it bad? Two writers–Soumyadipta ‘Shom’ Biswas and Tanuj Solanki– share their perspectives on this volatile topic. We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject too!

1

All a person needs is the first good book

by Tanuj Solanki

Tanuj Solanki

Tanuj Solanki

I live and work in Bombay, and so, for me, traveling to my hometown Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh entails reaching Delhi first and then taking a bus or a train. For the Bombay to Delhi journey, I find the Rajdhani trains to be the best option, because of the overnight comfort and the promise of being able to squeeze in four hours of solid reading into the seventeen hour journey. In November 2014, I had, for personal reasons, to take three trips to visit my family there.

Continue reading


4 Comments

How English ruined Indian Literature: Aatish Taseer

India, when left to its own devices, throws up a very different kind of writer, a man such as Chetan Bhagat, who, though he writes in English about things that are urgent and important — like life on campuses and in call centers — writes books of such poor literary quality that no one outside India can be expected to read them, writes Aatish Taseer in the New York Times

ChetanIn my own world — the world of English writing and publishing in India — the language has wrought neuroses of its own. India, over the past three decades, has produced many excellent writers in English, such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh and Arundhati Roy. The problem is that none of these writers can credit India alone for their success; they all came to India via the West, via its publishing deals and prizes. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Jaipur Literature Festival expects record crowd

Organizers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival have unveiled the final lineup of speakers at the 2015 festival, which is scheduled take place in Jaipur from Jan. 21 to 25.

On deck for South Asia’s best-known literary jamboree: Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, author of “A House for Mr. Biswas” and other novels; travel writers Paul Theroux and Elizabeth Gilbert, the latter of “Eat Pray Love” fame; British screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi; Indian author Chetan Bhagat; Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton; statistician and risk scholar Nicholas Nassim Taleb; Columbia University economist Arvind Panagariya; and more than 200 others. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Telemachus in Belsize Park

Readers who have been praying fervently for an antidote to Chetan Bhagat novels will have ample reason to believe in the existence of God: Outlookindia.com

AmitReaders who have been praying fervently for an antidote to Chetan Bhagat novels will have ample reason to believe in the existence of God should they chance upon Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad. Chaudhuri’s latest offering gives us the student life scrubbed clean of all vulgar excesses—no campus, no middle-class hankering for IIT or MBA degrees, no girlfriends (half or whole), no unnecessary melodrama and twists and turns of plot, nothing that could be accused of being in poor taste. This is the quiet romance of a young man in love with his own thoughts, delivered in flawless English. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The making of an IITian author: Harsh Snehanshu

Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone was the first novel that I read. I can see you roll your eyes. But wait, there is more. Two years later, in 2009, I got my first novel published: Tehelka

ChetanThe summer of 2007 was an unusually warm one in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, but the heat didn’t deter the flurry of guests who came to our house on that stuffy afternoon to congratulate me. The IIT-JEE results had just been declared and I had secured an all-India rank of 993. It was the second best rank in the city, and had attracted quite a few journalists as well who had come to interview me. By evening, there was a heap of sweets and congratulatory cards on the table, and my parents were tearfully happy. One of my neighbours presented me with Chetan Bhagat’s first book from his personal library, saying, “Now that you are going to an IIT, it is important to know what not to do there,” intriguing me so much with the subtitle of the book that by the end of the day’s euphoria, I had jumped headlong into its 300-odd pages. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Warning for writers in India: Beware of dubious literary agents

Tanuj Khosla writes how some unscrupulous individuals in India have established dubious literary agencies and how they are  taking some unaware aspiring writers for a ride. 

ChetanFollowers of Indian publishing world are only too aware of the boom that has taken place in the industry, especially in mass market fiction, since investment banker Chetan Bhagat churned out a bestseller on his days in college in 2004. The book captured the imagination of almost every age group and catapulted Bhagat into instant stardom. It made every second English-educated person in India believe that he/she has a best-seller in him/her. Since then over a hundred such first time authors who had full-time jobs have gone on to write their debut novel on anything from school days to college life to experiences at workplace. Many of these books have been resounding commercial successes thereby inspiring thousands more.

However, while all this is a  good news for aspiring authors, publishers and readers, the trend has had one negative side-effect  –  birth of shady literary agents in India. Continue reading