Magical realism, fragments from an event that divided a subcontinent, a heart-stirring essays on life, love, and all that makes up a wife and a mother, these were a few of the wonderful debut books by women that grabbed attention this year. The debut authors spread their wings, ambitious and exacting, creating works of fiction and non fiction that dominated reviews, lists, discussions and had them seats at literary fests as well as mentioned on that real barometer of reading popularity, the reading Whatsapp groups and the very under-rated but most powerful sales tool ever, good word of mouth.
Here then, are the books by debut authors in 2017 that got great word of mouth. If we’ve missed any do let us know in the comments.
The Circuses that Fly Here and There by Tejaswini Apte Rahm
A captivating collection of exquisitely written short stories, Tejaswini Apte Rahm has established herself firmly as a force to be reckoned with.
The Liar’s Weave by Tashan Mehta
From a Parsi colony in early twentieth-century Bombay to the urban hinterland of Vidroha, a forest of outcasts, Tashan Mehta’s debut novel transports the reader to an India both familiar and strange, where the consequences of magic on reality can be wondrous yet heart-breaking.
Remnants of a Separation by Aanchal Malhotra
Written as a crossover between history and anthropology, Remnants of a Separation is the product of years of passionate research. It is an alternative history of the Partition – the first and only one told through material memory that makes the event tangible even seven decades later.
My Daughter’s Mum by Natasha Badhwar
My Daughters’ Mum—a first in a series of two essay collections—covers a range of essential subjects, from parenting and marriage, to faith and selfhood. Knitting together a popular column in Mint Lounge, new writing and priceless handcrafted dialogues, the author describes her journey as the mother of three young daughters; as the wife of a man from a religious background unlike her own; and as an individual with dreams detached from the roles of wife and mother—here’s a wanderer, a feminist, a workplace goer.
I Quit, Now What? By Zarreen Khan
Crisp, wry and the story of every 20 something, I Quit, Now What? is a book that is incisive and entertaining.
What Kitty Did by Trisha Bora
With Kitty Roy, Trisha Bora has created a fabulous protagonist most young women can identify with. Set in the winter of her discontent, What Kitty Did is an irresistible caper zipping through the streets of Delhi.
Paiso—How Sindhis Do Business by Maya Bathija
Maya Bathija, former head of content of the Sindhian has delved into the worlds of five prominent Sindhi families to show us how Sindhis do business. Taking us across the globe from Hong Kong to the US to India, Maya has dug deep to offer interesting insights into the business philosophies of these families well-known in the community.
The Librarian by Kavitha Rao
“The Librarian” is a dark, powerful novel that will appeal to everybody who has ever loved a book, or found happiness in a library.
Nupur Dhingra Paiva for Love & Rage: The Inner Worlds of Children
Love & Rage is a book about children, both the child in those of us who are chronologically adult, as well as the children we may be interacting with. It takes a reader on a journey into their inner world of intense, raging emotions which often goes unheeded by the outside adult world. This book is essential reading for anyone close to children-parents and parents-to-be, teachers, school counsellors – but also for anyone looking to attend to the child within them.
The Perils of Being Moderately Famous by Soha Ali Khan
Actor Soha Ali Khan’s debut book is at heart a brilliant collection of personal essays where she recounts with self-deprecating humour what it was like growing up in one of the most illustrious families of the country. With never before published photos from her family’s archives, The Perils of Being Moderately Famous takes us through some of the most poignant moments of Soha’s life-from growing up as a modern-day princess and her days at Balliol College to life as a celebrity.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
A debut collection of fierce, funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Western culture, addressing sexism, stereotypes, and the universal miseries of life
Ants Among Elephants by Sujata Gidla:
This unflinching account of being born an untouchable by Sujata Gidla has been acclaimed around the world.
The Windfall by Diksha Basu
A sharply observed tale of social aspiration and anxiety, The Windfall is a thoroughly modern comedy of manners about family, friendship and what it means to belong in a rapidly changing India.
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Also Read: Books by Women Authors that Defined 2017