BBC has raised a toast to Indian literature as the publication featured renowned Indian authors R K Narayan, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul and Vikram Seth on a list of the 100 most inspiring novels. The list of 100 called ‘Novels That Shaped Our World’ marks the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, which is believed to have heralded the birth of the English language novel.
The list that ranges from classics to contemporary is split into ten categories including identity, love, sex and romance, politics, power and protest, and class and society. Arundhati Roy’s debut novel The God of Small Things features in the ‘Identity’ category, R K Narayan’s Swami and Friends in the ‘Coming of Age’ section while Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh is placed in the ‘Rule Breakers’ class. Further, Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy features on the list in the ‘Family and Friendship’ category while V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas is placed named in the ‘Class and Society’ section. The panel comprising the Times Literary Supplement editor Stig Abell, founder and director of the Bradford Literature Festival Syima Aslam, novelists Juno Dawson and Kit de Waal, journalist and presenter Mariella Frostrup and author and academic Alexander McCall Smith spent months debating before choosing from an array of contemporary reads, literary classics, graphic novels and children’s books.
Pakistani authors Mohsin Hamid and Kamila Shamsie’ have also made it onto the list for their novels The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Home Fire respectively. Some of the other novels chosen include A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series also features on the list.