In the world of literature, female authors have made major contributions by raising important questions and bringing about a change in society. Indian female authors have brought changes through their writing. Often when we talk about authors, we forget to talk about Indian female authors who through their writing and creative skills have played a hand in changing Indian literature. Here is a list 7 Best Female Authors In India.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri is an American author of Indian lineage. Nilanjana Sudeshna by name, is one of the most famous female authors in India. Jhumpa writes novels, short stories and essays in English and Italian. Her debut collection of short-stories ‘Interpreter Of Maladies’ published in 1999, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2000. Her debut novel ‘The Namesake’ was published in 2003. In 2006, the book was adapted into film by Mira Nair, starring Irrfan Khan and Tabu. In 2018, Lahiri published her first novel in Italian titled ‘Dove Mi Trovo’. Jhumpa Lahiri’s work portrays the dilemma’s faced by the Indian community staying overseas such as generational differences, complicated identity issues and struggle of cultural differences.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy is a very well-known Indian author and a political and social activist. She is best known for her debut novel ‘The God Of Small Things’. The book won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997 and the New York Times called the book as one of the Outstanding Books Of Year for 1997. In her books Arundhati Roy intertwines human emotions with social issues such as social discrimination, caste and cultural differences and misogyny. In 2006, Roy received the Sahitya Akademi Award by the Indian Academy of Letters for her collection of essays ‘The Algebra Of Infinite Justice’. She has also received Lannan Cultural Freedom Award in 2002 and the Sydney  Peace Prize in 2004 for her active participation in human rights issues and environmental causes. So she is one among the best female authors in India

Kiran Desai

Kiran Desai is the daughter of Anita Desai and also one of the best female authors in India. She is a Delhi-based author who made her debut with the book ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’, which was published in 1998. Her second novel ‘The Inheritance Of Loss’ published in 2006 won her the Man Booker Prize for fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award. She was the youngest female author to receive Man Booker Prize for fiction in year 2007. In her work Kiran Desai talks about the contemporary society in the perspective of globalization, using the themes like alienation, cultural clashes, and exile. Her book ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, talks about the pain of immigration and living between two separate nations.

Anita Desai

Anita Desai is an exceptional Indian writer. She has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times. Anita Desai in her books covers sensitive issues such as affection in marriage, isolation, and escapism. Her debut novel ‘Cry peacock’ published in 1963 Anita explored marital disharmony, escapism and loss of hope in life. She received a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 for her novel ‘Fire On The Mountain’ published in 1977. She also received the British Guardian Prize for her well-written ‘The Village By The Sea’ published in 1982. Anita Desai mostly writes in English and is well known for reflecting a tragic view of life. She has also won Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2014, she was awarded Padma Bushan.

Shashi Deshpande

Shashi Deshpande is an award-winning Indian author who is best known for her book ‘That Long Silence’ published in 1988. She won the Sahitya Akademi Award for the novel in 1990. She received the Padma Shri award in 2009. Shashi Deshpande was born in a Kannada family in year 1938. She has written books and novels in different genres including four children’s books, a number of short stories, and nine novels, besides several essays. Shashi Deshpande’s books express a definite bluntness and her female characters are prepared to be the creators of their own destiny. Most of her novels deal with the struggles of a conventional, middle-class housewife and her search for identity. Her novel ‘Shadow Play’ published in 2013 was shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize in 2014. 

Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is an Indian author, publisher and Founder-Director of Jaipur Literature Festival. She has authored over 18 books that comprise of nine books of fiction and others of non-fiction. Namita Gokhale depicts the concerns of common men. She created some inventive protagonist characters like Paro and Priya, Grandmother’s Gudiya and Shakuntala in some of her novels. That is the reason we kept her is the list of best female authors in India

Her debut novel is ‘Paro: Dreams of Passion’ that was published in1984. Her other works include Gods Graves and Grandmother, A Himalayan Love Story, Shakuntala: Play of Memory, Things to Leave Behind and her non-fiction works include Mountain Echoes, The Book of Shiva, and The Puffin Mahabharata. She has also co-edited an anthology with Ruskin Bond ‘Himalaya: Adventures, Meditations’. She is also a columnist and reviewer for publications like The Times of India, The Indian Express, and Outlook Magazine.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee is an Indian-American author. She is known for her poetry, short stories, and novels that vary from fantasy, young adult, magical realism, and historical-fiction. Her short story collection, ‘Arranged Marriage’ published in 1995 won an American Book Award in 1996. Her novel ‘Mistress of Spices’ published in 1997 was short-listed for the Orange Prize. The story is about an Indian woman who finds herself in America and starts dealing in spices.  

The novel was adapted into film in 2005 starring Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott. Her most notable work is ‘Palace of Illusions’ published in 2008. The book is retelling of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s point of view. Chitra has also written some academic books such as ‘Multitude: Cross Cultural Readings for Writers’ and she is also renowned as an academic personality. Thus Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni can be counted as best female authors in India

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