The royal family of England has always fascinated the world. Since 1952, the throne has been ruled by Queen Elizabeth II. The seven decades of her reign have witnessed the world changing tremendously. Her reign is known to be the longest in history. To celebrate the queen’s birthday this year, BBC Arts organised the big jubilee reads campaign which has curated a list of 70 books from commonwealth nations which has been published during the 70 years of rule of her majesty.
📚👑📚 Find out more about the #BigJubileeRead – the literary celebration of the record-breaking reign of Her Majesty The Queen from the @BBC, @ace_national & @readingagency – on @BBCFrontRow. Listen on @BBCRadio4 & @BBCSounds tonight from 7:15pm: https://t.co/FWQaHpuhl1 pic.twitter.com/lMqbXNwcCD
— BBC Arts (@bbcarts) April 18, 2022
The list also includes some of the popular books by India’s celebrated authors from RK Narayan to Arundhati Roy. Let’s take a look at 7 books by Indian authors which have been selected for the jubilee list.
The Guide – RK Narayan (1958)
RK Narayan is known to write tales that are interesting, fascinating and full of realism. He is one of the most renowned English writers in the country. His book The Guide starts off with humour but as you read further it explores many different aspects of the protagonist’s life. The story reflects the simplicity of the author and how he picks up things from the world around him.
Sunlight on a Broken Column – Attia Hosain (1961)
The book is based on the times of partition and takes us on a journey with a fictional character, Laila. The fifteen-year-old Muslim girl suffers a lot after the death of her parents and she has to explore the world herself after the partition. The novel has an open end which lets the reader presume it the way they want.
The Nowhere Man – Kamala Markandaya (1972)
Kamala Markandaya has lived most of her life in England but her eleven novels were mainly set in India. She is an Indian English writer who is celebrated for her work that paved around the reality of the Indian subcontinent. Her seventh novel, The Nowhere Man has some reflections on India through the story of an elderly Brahmin Srinivas. After Srinivas looks at the way Britain is changing, he decides to return to India but he has no clue where to go. This plot gave birth to the title of the novel.
Clear Light of Day – Anita Desai (1980)
Three-time Booker Prize winner Anita Desai has set the story of the 1980 novel in the city of Old Delhi. It takes us through the journey of complex relationships between family members living together in a house in old Delhi. The novel goes back and forth in time as the members take us through their life.
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (1981)
Midnight’s Children is one of the most popular books by Salman Rushdie. The book portrays the transition of India after the British colonial rule. He has used real incidents through fictional characters to make the reader hooked to reality and the magical story.
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (1997)
The award-winning author has never stepped back from taking up tough subjects like racism and casteism in her stories. The God of Small Things is also one such book that explores the effects of casteism in India. Not just this, it also provides a perspective to people that even the smallest of things change people and their behaviour.
The Blue Bedspread – Raj Kamal Jha (1999)
The echo of loneliness is not just a book but is a way to introspect how someone’s life changes in a minute. This story weaves the threads of childhood molestation and how the family is responsible for a child’s trauma.