National Reading Day is observed annually in India on June 19 in honour of the father of India’s Library Movement, the late Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker, who is associated with Kerala’s Universal Literacy Rate of 100%. The event was first celebrated in Kerala in 1996 and has since become a movement, not just in the state but also in the country. On this occasion, here are 4 books from Indian authors that you must read at least once in your lifetime – 

‘The Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – The award-winning novel is an interpretation of the events of the Hindu epic Mahabharata through the lens of its lead female character Draupadi, who married all five of the Pandava brothers.

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‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy – The debut novel of the Indian writer is the story of fraternal twins whose world is shaken by unexpected events. The novel, which has equal parts powerful family saga and forbidden love story, will keep you hooked till the end.

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The White Tiger‘ by Arvind Adiga – The Man Booker Prize winner provides a refreshing take on India’s class struggle through the eyes of Balram Halwai, a village boy who moves to Delhi to work as a chauffeur for the elite.  

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Train to Pakistan’ by Khushwant Singh – The novel, which released in 1956, is revered for bringing a human perspective to the India-Pakistan partition. Singh recounts the partition of India in August 1947 in terms of human loss and horror.