Everybody knows when a Chetan Bhagat book releases. Bhagat himself, aided by the media and Twitter, ensure that you know his latest work is out. And in all the surrounding noise, it’s easy to miss some of the best books that come from India and around the rest of Asia. Here are five authors whose works you need to read in the coming year, to get back to reading quality books.
On top of our list is Haruki Murakami, this generation’s favourite author from Japan. Murakami’s dream-like settings and outlandish characters, who fight human conditions like love and loss, is a rare combination that no other writer in the world has been able to replicate as effectively just yet. If you haven’t picked up one of his books, then 2017 presents the perfect opportunity to do so as his publisher has announced his upcoming book will be released in Japan this February. While fans wait with bated breath for the mysterious book, you can pick up some of his best work such as 1Q84, Kafka On The Shore and Norwegian Wood.
Okay, we couldn’t not include Arundhati Roy on this list. You may or may not agree with her views on the state of the country, but one fact is undeniable – her Booker-prize-winning book The God of Small Things is a thing of rare beauty. Almost 19 years later, the book has the same charm as it did when it was released in 1997. Now, her publishers have confirmed that Roy’s second novel titled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will release in 2017. Two decades later, the difference in her writing can only be gauged by those who read her debut novel.
She won the Man Booker prize this year for her book, The Vegetarian. Just to be clear, it’s definitely not about vegetarianism, despite its title. In fact, the book tells the story of a woman who stops eating meat and the consequences that follow. The three-part novella was actually written in 2007 but translated only recently and is based on her earlier short story titled The Fruit of My Woman. The relative lack of noise around Kang is surprising given that her book is a literary tour-de-force and gives a poignant insight into modern South Korea. Be sure to check out Kang’s other works, Convalescence and Human Acts, after finishing this one.
Her followers have a cult-like devotion to her Young Adult books. Mostly known for her Legend series of books, the Chinese-American author is back in 2017 with a series called Warcross that features “two teenage bounty hunters who must catch a hacker in the world’s most popular virtual reality video game”. Lu’s books consistently have a high rating from fans and critics alike and are a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s looking for a genuine change of scene in the YA category. Turning into another one of her followers is the most probable side-effect of discovering Lu’s writing.
We’re not being anti-national right now, but you really need to read Pakistani author Sabyn Javeri’s works, Nobody Killed Her and Hijabistan. The latter is a collection of short stories that are interlinked around the common theme of wearing the veil, while Nobody Killed Her is a political thriller about the assassination of a female politician. Sadly, neither of them are available in India yet, but both of Javeri’s books will release in 2017 according to her publisher. We’ll just have to wait this one out until then.
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