Desi & Desi-American Fiction
As someone working on a novel about an Indian-American family, I am constantly trying to diversify my reading palette by diving into books by different Desi authors. Although Khaled Hosseini would be considered an Afghan author and not Desi, his first novel has resonated with me deeply and it would be a loss to omit from this list. Many of these titles are from the early 2000s but each tell an important tale that has, and will likely continue to, stand the test of time.
2003 by Lahiri, JhumpaGet this item
Gogol isn't a name you'd expect a Bengali couple to name their child, but that's exactly what happens. Lahiri's first novel puts the immigrant experience on full display as Gogol struggles to connect to his parent's roots back in Calcutta while living in America. It will make you question, what's in a name?
2003 by Hosseini, KhaledGet this item
After witnessing something terrible happen to his friend Hassan when they are young boys, Amir is forced to live with the part he played in selfishly remaining a spectator to the event even into adulthood. The overarching theme of Ian McEwan's book Atonement, comes to mind as Amir tries to atone for his inaction decades later by rescuing Hassan's son from a dire situation.
1997 by Roy, ArundhatiGet this item
Roy's first novel is like a decadent slice of cake composed of exquisite prose. The story follows Estha and Rahel, fraternal twins whose lives begin to rapidly fracture after the death of their seven-year-old cousin, Sophie Mol. The story is of love and loss, family and political unrest in India, and the "Love Laws that lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.”