“That’s the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet.” What a profound thought by famous Indian author Jhumpa lahiri whose writing is par excellence and needs no introduction. Here’s a big applause to all the prolific gems that the country has in her kitty in the field of literature and India has been a pioneer in contributing to the world. There was a time when despite being extremely talented Asian women were not so much recognized but Indian government has been always upfront in recognizing various women authors who stand out with their extraordinary skills.
A writer captures the heart and mind of the reader by pouring out emotions to words and India is fortunate to have such writers. Since centuries women have been able to prove their mark and writing stands as no substitute for that. The list is not exhaustive, yet we have tried to pick some finest pearl out of an ocean of exemplary woman authors from different eras.
- Mahashweta Devi: History of Indian literature will be incomplete if one doesn’t mention about Padma Vibhshan awardee Late Mahashweta Devi, a pioneer in Bengali literature and winner of multiple literary awards. From noted novels to school text books Mahashweta Devi is respected through her valuable contribution towards literature. Her major works include “hajar churasir maa”, aranyer adhikar”. She has written over 100 novels and 20 collections of short stories in Bengali which have been translated in many other languages. Any person who possess a great reading interest must bag Mahashweta Devi’s literary works.
- Krishna Sobti: Krishna Sobti is one of the most influential and prestigious writers of India. Awarded with the honorary Jnanpith award in 2017 Krishna Sobti has given a noted contribution to India through her prolific and heart wrenching literary works. Krishna Sobti has touched various aspects such as partition of the nation, human relationships. One of her biggest forte is her novels depicting the stereotyped condition of women in Indian society and through her path-breaking novels Krishna Sobti has tried to bring women as a protagonist who breaks the monotonous and orthodox beliefs. Must read literary works of Krishna Sobti includes “zindaginama”, “mitro marjani” and “Daar se bichudi” and the list goes on.
- Anita Desai: Anita Desai is an Indian novelist, short story writer and a children author, who has been nominated thrice for Booker Prize for her noted literary works. Anita Desai not only holds a prestigious place in Indian hearts but is well acclaimed across borders too. She has won Sahitya Akademi award for her novel “Fire on the mountain” in 1978 and also won the British Guardian Prize for her novel “The village by the sea.” Her simple and vivid writing style has won millions of hearts and happens to be one of the favorite authors. Her daughter Kiran Desai is also a reputed and brilliant Indian novelist.
- Arundhati Roy: India rose to a hall of fame again on the eve of 1997 when a female writer from India happened to be the first female to receive Man Booker prize and who is none other than Arundhati Roy, author of the world acclaimed “God of small things”. With an incomparable storytelling style Arundhati Roy enchants the reader to a different world. She has come up with many noteworthy novels touching each and every societal aspect. Brilliant in dealing with human emotions she has many enticing literary works in her kitty. Arundhati Roy also won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2006.
- Ismat Chughtai: The crown of being most prolific and pioneer in Indian literature from the Urdu origin goes to Late Ismat Chughtai who broke the stereotyped norms and stood as the revolutionary feminist through her noteworthy writings. She brilliantly dealt with the issues of feminine sexuality, middle-class gentility and various other evolving conflicts of those times. “Lihaaf” a short story by her that later inspired a movie “fire” won critical acclaims for the controversial subject but created a great stir in the society. She was one of the authors who thought beyond an era, and managed to captivate the readers through her writings.
The above list obviously does not include many notable women writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Anuja Chauhan, Indira Goswami and the list is endless, but Indian women have always made India shine on the world map.
Happy Women’s Day!
Pic: India Today