Indian Women Novelists

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

Vote for Your Favourite Indian Women Novelists
 1 
Arundhati Roy
(Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist)
Arundhati Roy
down15
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.

 2 
Amrita Pritam
(Indian Author Who Wrote in Punjabi and Hindi and is Considered One of History's Foremost Female Punjabi Writers)
Amrita Pritam
down5
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gujranwala, Pakistan
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.

 3 
Sudha Murty
(Author)
Sudha Murty
down4
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

Known for her humility and simplicity, Indian philanthropist and author Sudha Murty had humble beginnings as a TELCO engineer. She is married to Infosys co-founder Narayan Murty and heads the Infosys Foundation. The Padma Shri winner has penned over 200 titles, such as Dollar Bahu, in both Kannada and English.

 4 
Mahasweta Devi
(Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer)
Mahasweta Devi
down4
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.

 5 
Sheela
(Actress)
Sheela
down4
Birthdate: March 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrissur, India
 6 
Kamala Suraiyya
down5
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrssur, Kerala, India
Died: May 31, 2009

Kamala Suraiyya, also known by her pen-name Madhavikutty and by her married name Kamala Das, was a Malayali poet who is remembered for her liberal treatment of female sexuality in her works. Her writings, such as Summer in Calcutta, form an integral part of Indian literature written in English.

 7 
Sagarika Ghose
(Author, Journalist)
Sagarika Ghose
down3
Birthdate: November 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Delhi

Renowned journalist Sagarika Ghose was an Oxford Rhodes scholar before she joined media giants such as The Times of India and CNN-IBN. Apart from being the daughter of Indian civil servant and theater personality Bhaskar Ghose, she is also the wife of popular journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

You May Like
 8 
Anita Desai
(Novelist)
Anita Desai
down4
Birthdate: June 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mussoorie, India
 9 
Kiran Desai
(Her novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize)
Kiran Desai
down5
Birthdate: September 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
 10 
Nayantara Sahgal
(Journalist, Writer)
Nayantara Sahgal
down3
Birthdate: May 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allahabad
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author Nayantara Sahgal is the granddaughter of Motilal Nehru and the niece of Jawaharlal Nehru. Her works include 9 novels, including the award-winning Rich Like Us, and 10 non-fiction books. She has also received the Doon Ratna from Dehradun, where she has lived for decades. 
 11 
Nabaneeta Dev Sen
down3
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.

 12 
Shashi Deshpande
(writer, novelist, journalist, short story writer, children's writer)
Shashi Deshpande
down3
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Dharwad
 13 
Krishna Sobti
(Writer, Essayist)
Krishna Sobti
down0
Birthdate: February 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gujrat, Punjab Province, British India
Died: January 25, 2019

Krishna Sobti was an Indian novelist and essayist. She is best remembered for her novel Zindaginama which earned her the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980. In 1996, she received the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship for her contribution. Her contribution was also honored with the Jnanpith Award in 2017. Sobti's novels have been translated into several languages including English, Russian, and Swedish.

 14 
Anita Nair
(Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist, Children's writer)
Anita Nair
down3
Birthdate: January 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shoranur

Critically acclaimed novelist and children’s author Anita Nair initially worked for an ad agency in Bangalore. Her novel Lessons in Forgetting was later made into a National Award-winning film. A UNHCR supporter, she has won several awards, such as the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award and the JFW Award.

 15 
Bharati Mukherjee
(Indian American-Canadian Writer and Professor )
Bharati Mukherjee
down2
Birthdate: July 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: January 28, 2017

Bharati Mukherjee was a writer who also taught at the University of California, Berkeley as a professor emerita in the English department. The author of several short story collections and novels, Bharati Mukherjee was honored with many prestigious awards, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988.

 16 
Qurratulain Hyder
(Indian Urdu Novelist and Short Story Writer Best Known for Her Magnum Opus, 'Aag Ka Darya')
Qurratulain Hyder
down2
Birthdate: January 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aligarh, India
Died: August 21, 2007

Known for her iconic works such as Aag Ka Darya, Qurratulain Hyder revolutionized Urdu literature. Born to writer parents in British India, she later moved to Pakistan and then to England, where she was employed with BBC. She later moved back to India and won numerous awards such as the Jnanpith Award.

 17 
Kamala Markandaya
down2
Birthdate: January 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mysuru, India
Died: May 16, 2004

Kamala Markandaya, also known as Kamala Taylor after her marriage, was one of the most significant Indian writers of English. Known for novels such as Nectar in a Sieve and A Silence of Desire, she was known to portray Western ideals as materialistic. She moved to England after India’s independence.

 18 
Santha Rama Rau
down1
Birthdate: January 24, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chennai, India
Died: April 21, 2009
Throughout history, there have been many Indian women novelists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great Indian female novelists such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Amrita Pritam, Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Sagarika Ghose.