Short story books always tend to incorporate a lot more than the usual fiction since the writer takes it upon themselves to pack much more than a great story in these bite-sized pieces of life. Be it any genre centred, they always manage to leave an indelible mark on the reader
Short story books, especially those written by Indian Women Authors are the ones that are usually taken to reading, after having consecutively read two to three books of other tropes. In fact, these short story books usually for me, tend to pack a punch much more than the usual long fiction too.
I have always felt that short story books always tend to incorporate a lot more than the usual fiction, especially since the writer takes it upon themselves to pack much more than a great story in these bite-sized pieces of life.
From a great story to the motto, to unforgettable characterizations right onwards to creating those real-life scenarios which resonate with the readers, short story books, especially those written by Indian Women Authors tend to leave an indelible mark upon the reader community, I feel.
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Women-led, initiated and female-centric stories are something which is not only the perfect motto based, a message-oriented premise which forms some of the best reading, I personally feel it is high time that women are placed akin to an equality of status quo alongside men, having harboured the tag of the “inferior”, second class citizens for hundreds of years now. Fortunately, thanks to Indian Women Authors, many of whom have taken it upon themselves to portray this, we have great short story books which are not only female-oriented but also ones with the perfect message.
So, here are my top 5 favourite short story books by Indian Women Authors which I highly recommend and which you must surely read:
The Daughter From a Wishing Tree: Unusual Tales About Women in Mythology by Sudha Murty
Well, women in Indian mythology might have been few in number, but the stories of their strength and mysteries in the ancient texts, their slaying demons to protect others are many. Featuring enchanting, fearless women such as Parvati, Mandodari, Bhamati and many others, this collection features women who were the backbone of their families and even as much as led wars on behalf of the Gods. Sudha’s writing takes one on an enthralling journey through those time periods when such remarkable women were present to influence our lives and how.
Interpreter of Maladies: Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond by Jhumpa Lahiri
Do you know the best thing I find about Jhumpa’s writing? Well, she has this uncanny ability to say so much through so little and yet evocatively leave a lot more unsaid, open in plain sight, left for all to view and partake of and yet leave the reader with a yearning to know and decipher much more than what meets the eye. This collection of short stories by her is primarily rich in observation and detail, full of the true-blue pull of the emotional quotient that surrounds such scenarios in the case of exile especially. Imagine staying away from your own lands and missing their tiniest detail in every beat. Jhumpa’s writing is subtle, sober and yet balanced enough to be sinking in through your system.
3. Women and Their World: Tales of Love, Loss and Survival by Varunika Rajput
A brilliant collection that showcases women through the various stages and scenarios in their life, depicted through multiple instances, this work of excellence by debut Author Varunika Rajput is one of my personal favourites. Common, yet heartwarmingly aching, these stories are definitely not your usual honey smeared, “all is well” type of tales and yet one cannot help but notice the raw sense of power Varunika’s tales radiate through this one. Yes, indeed every woman is different and so is her story and her battle. These random, everyday yet Varunika has highlighted extremely crucial daily struggles of the gentler sex in a brilliant and candid way. A must-read.
4. What Keeps Her Awake at Night by Dr Shilpa Singh Dhayal
A very powerful book addressing sensitive yet essential, indispensable aspects of our societal systems in a manner that will resonate with you, these musings by Dr Shilpa touch upon such skeletons from the closet such as miscarriage, infertility, child abuse and many such other sensitive issues which happen to be taboo territory from our societal point of view. These concepts are a tad bit difficult and uncomfortable to discuss or read about, but believe me, once you do, indeed the world will be a better place to live in. Exploring the dynamics of the modern-day society we live in, this one again is a powerful read.
5. Not Really Indian: Ten Women, Ten Intriguing Short Stories by Subhashini Prasad
A collection of short stories taking us through the lives of women who are not really Indian, these tales speak of some who are opportunistic, some curious personas, while other bystanders are just present, not striking the fine balance between being Indian and not. Speaking of and about the tales of those women who have a love-hate relationship with their country, this one is a lucid narrative with great characters as well as an amazing narrative. Capable of leaving a lasting impact, go for this one if you want to catch up on an ode to women, those who are as well as those who aren’t a part of your lives. A must-read.
So, these were my top 5 favourite short story books by Indian Women Authors which you must check out.
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