Famous Indian Novelists

India’s contribution to the field of literature has been appreciated since time immemorial. From the classics of Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, to the children stories of Ruskin Bond, the works of these eminent novelists have changed the perception of the world towards India. Unlike the age old adage of India being the ‘land of snake charmers’, these famous novelists have painted the real picture of the country, for the outside world to admire and acknowledge through their works. These novelists have created works on different literary genres and the modern day writers like Amish Tripathy, Devdutt Pattanaik, Kiran Desai and Manreet Sodhi Someshwar are not willing to be confined to the conventional themes of the past. These writers are raring to have a go at the unexplored literary genres and their efforts are duly recognized by the audiences globally. These Indian novelists have created a niche for themselves among the elite writers around the world. Here we have made an effort to present a collection of biographies on some of the famous Indian novelists. Explore through the collection to find all about their life stories, timelines and gear yourselves with some interesting trivia and facts related to them.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor.
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Famous As: Writer, Politician, Diplomat
Birthdate: March 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

Born in London, to an Indian couple, Shashi Tharoor is known for his award-winning books such as the The Great Indian Novel and his over-the-top English vocabulary. Tharoor is also a Congress MP. He made headlines when his wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel.

 2 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
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Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

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 3 Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy.
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Famous As: Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist
Birthdate: November 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Assam

Apart from her bestselling books such as The God of Small Things, Man Booker Prize-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy is also known for her left-wing political activism. Born to a Syrian Christian mother and an Indian Hindu father, Roy had initially studied architecture and worked as a script writer.

 4 Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
Indian investment banker-turned-writer Chetan Bhagat is known for his bestselling novels such as Five Point Someone and One Night @ the Call Center. Many Bollywood movies, such as Kai Po Che! and 3 Idiots, have been adapted from his novels, with the former winning him a Filmfare Award.

 5 R. K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 10, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: May 13, 2001

Remembered as one of the greatest authors of Indian literature in English, R. K. Narayan created the iconic character Swami and related his experiences set in the fictional town of Malgudi. The Sahitya Akademi and Padma Vibhushan winner was also the brother of cartoonist R.K. Laxman.

 6 Munshi Premchand

Munshi Premchand.
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Famous As: Novelist and Author
Birthdate: July 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lamhi, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 8, 1936
Indian author Dhanpat Rai Srivastava, better known by his pseudonym, Munshi Premchand, was one of the most celebrated Hindi-language writers of the 20th century. He initially wrote as Nawab Rai. Some of his greatest works include the novels Godaan, Idgah, and Karmabhoomi. He also wrote short stories and plays. 

 7 Khushwant Singh

Khushwant Singh.
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Famous As: Novelist, Lawyer, Journalist & Politician
Birthdate: February 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hadali, British India (now in Khushab District, Punjab, Pakistan)
Died: March 20, 1999
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 8 Kuvempu

Kuvempu.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chikkamagaluru district
Died: November 11, 1994

One of the greatest Kannada literary figures to have ever lived, Jnanpith Award- and Padma Vibhushan-winning author Kuvempu had written the state anthem of Karnataka, Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate. He was also an academic who had served as the Mysore University vice-chancellor and often voiced his concerns on social issues.

 9 Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gujranwala
Died: October 31, 2005

Amrita Pritam was an Indian poet, essayist, and novelist who wrote in Hindi and Punjabi languages. She is widely regarded as the first major female Punjabi poet and the leading Punjabi-language poet of the 20th century. In 1956, she was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award, becoming the first woman to receive the prestigious award.

 10 Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata

Vikram Seth is an Indian poet and novelist. He is credited with increasing the readership of the English language in India. A revered and celebrated writer, Vikram Seth has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Sahitya Academy Award, WH Smith Literary Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, Crossword Book Award, Padma Shri, Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and Commonwealth Writers Prize.

 11 Amish Tripathi

Amish Tripathi
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 18, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 12 Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

 13 Vaikom Muhammad Basheer

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
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Famous As: Novelist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Writer, Diarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 21, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thalayolaparambu
Died: July 5, 1994

 14 Sheela

Sheela
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrissur, India

 15 Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi
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Famous As: Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

 16 Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Journalist
Birthdate: July 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata

 17 Na. Muthukumar

Na. Muthukumar
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: August 14, 2016

Na. Muthukumar was an Indian poet, author, and lyricist who predominantly worked in the Tamil film industry. He is credited with writing several popular film songs and is widely regarded as one of the most successful lyricists of his generation. During his illustrious career, Muthukumar won several prestigious awards, including two National Film Awards for Best Lyrics.

 18 Sagarika Ghose

Sagarika Ghose
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Famous As: Author, Journalist
Birthdate: November 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Delhi

 19 Devdutt Pattanaik

Devdutt Pattanaik
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Famous As: Mythographer
Birthdate: December 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, India

Indian mythologist and author Devdutt Pattanaik has redefined the genres of Indian folklore, legends and myths by retelling ancient tales through his books. A qualified physician, he later studied comparative mythology and penned bestsellers such as My Gita. His shows, such as Business Sutra and Devlok, have been hits, too.

 20 Mulk Raj Anand

Mulk Raj Anand.
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Birthdate: December 12, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peshawar, Pakistan
Died: September 28, 2004

 21 Anita Desai

Anita Desai
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mussoorie, India

 22 Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bandel
Died: January 16, 1938

 23 M. T. Vasudevan Nair

M. T. Vasudevan Nair
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Famous As: Author, Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Palakkad, Kerala, India

 24 Sujatha Rangarajan

Sujatha Rangarajan
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Famous As: Writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Srirangam
Died: February 27, 2008

 25 Raja Rao

Raja Rao
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Famous As: Author, Writer
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karnataka
Died: July 8, 2006

 26 Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 27, 1838
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kanthalpara, Bengal
Died: April 8, 1894

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was an Indian poet, novelist, and journalist. He is credited with composing India's national song, Vande Mataram, which personifies India as a mother goddess. The song played a major role in inspiring revolutionaries during India's struggle for independence. Dubbed Emperor of Literature, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote 14 novels alongside several poems.

 27 Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga
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Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Novelist, Film director
Birthdate: October 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chennai

 28 Nayantara Sahgal

Nayantara Sahgal
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Famous As: Journalist, Writer
Birthdate: May 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allahabad

 29 Kiran Desai

Kiran Desai
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Famous As: Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: September 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chandigarh

 30 Kusumagraj

Kusumagraj.
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 27, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pune
Died: March 10, 1999

Kusumagraj was an Indian poet, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer. He played an important role during the Indian independence movement, writing about freedom and justice and inspiring several people to take part in the freedom movement. Over the course of his career, Kusumagraj won many prestigious awards, including the Jnanapith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, and Padma Bhushan.

 31 Kalki Krishnamurthy

Kalki Krishnamurthy
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Journalist, Writer
Birthdate: September 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thanjavur district
Died: December 5, 1954

 32 Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 13, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died: November 7, 2019

Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Indian author Nabaneeta Dev Sen is revered as one of the greatest figures of Bengali literature. Born to a poet couple, Nabaneeta was christened by Rabindrananth Tagore. She was also an academic and was married to economist Amartya Sen for almost 2 decades.

 33 Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra
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Famous As: author, journalist, literary critic, writer
Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Jhansi

 34 Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay

Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
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Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: September 12, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Bengal
Died: November 1, 1950

Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay was a Bengali writer born in British India. His autobiographical novel, Pather Panchali (The Song of the Road), is considered his magnum opus. As a young man, he worked in many odd jobs before becoming a writer. Many of his novels were adapted into films. In 1951, he was posthumously awarded the Rabindra Puraskar. 

 35 Bharatendu Harishchandra

Bharatendu Harishchandra
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 9, 1850
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Varanasi, India
Died: January 6, 1885

Bharatendu Harishchandra was a 19th-century Hindi writer and poet who is regarded as the father of Hindi literature as well as Hindi theater. He authored numerous dramas, travel accounts, and life sketches. He mainly wrote about the issues faced by Indians, such as poverty, exploitation, and class struggles. A nationalist, he urged Indians to prioritize Indian-made products. 

 36 Chandrashekhara Kambara

Chandrashekhara Kambara
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Famous As: Film director, Poet, Writer
Birthdate: January 2, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gokak

Chandrashekhara Kambara is an Indian poet, folklorist, playwright, and film director. Although he is best known for his works in the Kannada language, Kambara's contribution as a playwright has benefitted the Indian theatre in general. Over the years, he has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Pampa Award, and Padma Bhushan.

 37 Poornachandra Tejaswi

Poornachandra Tejaswi
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Famous As: Author, Lyricist, Songwriter
Birthdate: September 8, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kuppalli
Died: April 5, 2007

 38 Ashfaq Ahmed

Ashfaq Ahmed
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Famous As: Philosopher, Literary critic
Birthdate: August 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Firozpur
Died: September 7, 2004

 39 Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai

Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thakazhi, India
Died: April 10, 1999

 40 Shashi Deshpande

Shashi Deshpande
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Famous As: writer, novelist, journalist, short story writer, children's writer
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Dharwad

 41 Balakumaran

Balakumaran V
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Palamaneri

 42 S. K. Pottekkatt

S. K. Pottekkatt
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Famous As: author, politician, diarist, poet
Birthdate: March 13, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kozhikode
Died: August 6, 1982

 43 Yandamuri Veerendranath

Yandamuri Veerendranath
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Famous As: Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: November 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Razole

 44 Nirad C. Chaudhuri

Nirad C. Chaudhuri.
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Famous As: Indian writer
Birthdate: November 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kishoreganj, Mymensingh, British India (now Bangladesh)
Died: August 1, 1999

 45 Anita Nair

Anita Nair
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Famous As: Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist, Children's writer
Birthdate: January 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shoranur

 46 O.V. Vijayan

O.V. Vijayan
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Palakkad, India
Died: March 30, 2005

 47 Ashok Banker

Ashok Banker
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Famous As: Author, Journalist, Literary critic
Birthdate: February 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai

 48 Bharati Mukherjee

Bharati Mukherjee
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: January 28, 2017

 49 Qurratulain Hyder

Qurratulain Hyder
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aligarh, India
Died: August 21, 2007

 50 Nirmal Verma

Nirmal Verma
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Famous As: Linguist, Translator, Writer, Literary critic
Birthdate: April 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shimla
Died: October 25, 2005