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Indian women authors have been making their mark on the book scene – here are some noteworthy debut books by 21 such new authors in recent times.
Women writing has been gaining strength since the past few years. We do have remarkable women authors many of who had award winning, compelling debut book. This list of debut books pretty much sums up all the good and bad that surround women. These first books expose the inside of our lives and prejudice which surround us, women. Some positive some poignant but definitely moving, here are books that you should read.
By Sujata Rajpal
This is a thought-provoking read; it stands out for Leela’s perseverance and is written with a fresh, crisp style. This book is all about Leela Chopra; a nineteen-year-old who is married off to a depressed, manic husband and an unforgiving mother in law, she is between the deep sea and the devil. She stands up to the abuse and doubt and finds a place for herself.
Buy it here on Amazon India, and Amazon US
By Shilpa Gupta
A feel good book that defines what ails our teenagers today. Peer pressure, blind beliefs, re-defining morals and building morale, while countering the baffling waves of sexual awareness. Ananya can be the story of any young adult you may know and leaves the reader with a positive thought.
Buy it here on Flipkart, Amazon India, and Amazon US
By Sumedha Mahajan
This book is not just inspirational but a must read for all who wish to be fit. A woman who runs is a patient of Asthma who set a physical challenge for herself, running 1,500 kilometres from Delhi to Mumbai in thirty days. A gruelling adventure that proves, ‘mind over matter.’
By Ira Mukhoty
This book defines the idea of heroism in women. A well-researched book that honours and glorifies women. All the women portrayed—Draupadi, Radha, Ambapali, Raziya Sultan, Meerabai, Jahanara, Laxmibai and Hazrat Mahal are not just daughters, wives, courtesans, mothers, queens, goddesses, warriors but heroines.
By Sharmishtha Shenoy
Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries set in Hyderabad consists of two different murders. They are solved by the retired cop Vikram Rana. The stories are well knit, keeping the reader hooked reminding us of Karam Chand of the 80’s. The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion & The Sonia Sinha Case involves the rich and powerful as deceit and lies abound.
By Archana Sarat
A thrilling mystery that keeps the reader guessing. In the new brood of mystery writers, this one stands out for a crisp, fast read. The story talks about child abuse and its impact. In part flashback it sets a hard to put down book as Anton is led through a labyrinth of incest, abuse, torture and suffering, spanning decades.
By Rasana Atreya
This is an award-winning debut book from an author with a strong, compelling voice on a realistic look at how superstition and the colour of a girl’s skin rules India’s hinterlands. Dark-skinned Pullamma wants to be married. Fair-skinned Lata would rather not. Tell A Thousand Lies is a story of how our colour decides our fate.
By Rubina Ramesh
A collection that touches on various emotions as they unravel along with the stories. Betrayal, secrets, vengeance, crimes and murder flow alongside everlasting love. Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.
By Shuchi Singh Kalra
Before Juggernaut and Readify there was Indireads. The platform has good novellas and Done With Men stands out as a fresh, funny, story of a vivacious girl looking for her Mr or in this case Dr. Perfect when all the men showing up in her life are the wrong kind. A youthful, heart-warming romantic comedy about men, relationships and how love can appear in the most unexpected places.
By Kirthi Jayakumar
The Dove’s Lament is a journey that takes you around the world, bringing to life the human side of conflicts that tear people apart. From the genocide, child marriages, prostitution and drug trafficking these stories traverse the world with their reality. Heartfelt, impactful and exposing the face of evil.
By Sudha Kuruganti
Not just compelling cover but unusual stories as well, Dark Things remixes the traditional to present contemporary messages as demons fall in love with deities, the unquiet dead are exorcised with food, and the love story of a shapeshifter and an ordinary man. A collection of twenty-two short stories retells famous legends mixed with old tales from Indian mythology adding a twist.
By Sundari Venkatraman
This is the first book of the self-published author Sundari Venkatraman who has more than 14 books on the Amazon top 20 list. This is an out and out romance but with Indian values and traditions. Sunita just turned twenty and wants to fly free as a bird but her parents insist on arranging her marriage with the tall, dark and handsome billionaire, Akshay. Will she be falling from the frying pan into the fire when she agrees to become The Malhotra Bride?
By Kanchana Banerjee
A Forgotten Affair is the story of Sagarika, who meets with a near-fatal accident on the day she decides to walk out of her marriage, she wakes up forgetting everything but the scent of men’s perfume, and a seemingly innocuous word, Cheeni. Her memories and family seem distant as she realizes that Rishab, who claims to be her husband, is evasive and cocoons her but from what?
By Reet Singh
A doctor turned writer Reet is another much love romance writer. Convenient boyfriend, inconvenient attraction – that is Mita’s dilemma. She requests handsome Tanay as her new boyfriend to divert her family’s attention. Their attraction adds to her problem as she tries to unravel her past connections. A perfect feel good romance to unwind with.
By Shikha Kumar
Shreya and Kunal are hard working successful, ambitious go-getters. Their paths cross as their parents want to get them married but the twist in the tale is that they know each other already. Marriage and revenge will lead to divorce or love? Very relevant for youngsters today.
By Manjula Padmanabhan
A story collection with unexpected twists, a touch of satire, a whiff of cynicism, a delicious undercurrent of dark humour. A vampire visits New Delhi, a space traveller returns to her ancestral home, a character from an ancient epic is transported into the future.
By Ratna Vira
A daughter learns of her mother’s deceit and takes to the court to prove herself. Her grandfather’s expansive estate has no place for her and she fights the battle for recognition from her own mother. A fight that will be familiar to most women in India where they rarely find themselves in the will.
By Aarti V Raman
An edge of the seat thrilling romance as Foreign News Reporter Ariana White is a woman on a mission from the Strait of Magellan and the alleys of Paris to the port of Monte Carlo. Brandon Rice, the man who makes her weak in the knees saves her at every turn as they embark on an explosive journey that puts everything to the test including their hearts.
By Nandita Bose
Paroma is married without an opinion and she just submits to an implicit understanding of her background and societal pressures and the small -mindedness of our small towns. The book lays bare the importance of communication between a couple and how the unspoken is often more important.
By Sunanda Chatterjee
A girl who is led to believe that she is unlucky and almost loses everything. Her strength and promises are what saves her. A saga spanning lifetimes looking for redemption and forgiveness, from blind faith to triumphant love.
By Aruna Nambiar
A book that celebrates coming-of-age within a comedy laced with satire. It is set in small-town Kerala of the 1980s, Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth shares about the loss of innocence and the intimate yet aloof nature of our relationships.
These books cover different genres but as debut books, they stand out for their love, thrills, drama, depth, insights and leaving a mark on the reader. These will compel you to read more books from these authors and luckily most have more books out already.
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Freelance Fiction and non-fiction editor, author and book bee.
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