The Best South Asian Fiction of 2011
Some of the best books this year were soul-searching. Others were hilarious. Still others drew on history. So how did all of these books end up on the same list, you ask? Why, they were all works of fiction. Here are our favorites, in ascending order.
5. “Busted in Bollywood” by Nicola Marsh Romance lit you can read without guilt. Clever, funny and romantic enough to appeal to the Bollywood-lover in all of us.
4. “Exit the Actress” by Priya Parmar This historical fiction novel tells the story of Ellen “Nell” Gwyn, the pauper turned actress who would become the beloved mistress of England’s King Charles II. Parmar uses diary entries, newspaper clippings and more to construct an old school “Pretty Woman” tale.
3. “Miss Timmins’ School for Girls” by Nayana Currimbhoy Murder, mystery, love, sexuality. A page-turning thriller that cuts between present day and the past to make your mind reel as you search for answers.
2. “A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear” by Atiq Rahimi One of the most psychologically intriguing books this year, Rahimi’s story of a man who must escape to Pakistan or face death in Kabul, his hometown, is enthralling. It also paints a vivid picture of Afghanistan’s political climate in 1979, which serves to educate and scare the reader simultaneously.
1. “The Artist of Disappearance” by Anita Desai Loneliness is hard to describe because most everyone knows how it feels. Still, Desai brings a fresh perspective–or rather, three–to it. Sad and beautiful, these short stories are a treat.
Amina Elahi is Divanee.com’s Managing Editor. Check out her blog, where she posts words and images that make her think.