8 Must-Read New Classics From South Asia

by Shiwani Neupane

What is a classic? An example of something, something characteristic of an era or a time? We thought a lot about what a classic novel meant, and shortlisted some of what we term “the new classics”. Most of the novels below speak of a political, cultural, social struggle faced by nations in South Asia. We like to think of them as compelling narratives that have captured the era of Millennials.

Case_of_Exploding_Mangoes Mohammed Hanif: A Case of Exploding Mangoes is written by Pakistani writer Hanif in 2008. The novel is a dark satire.
Lajja Taslima Nasrin: The novel Lajja, which means shame was published in 1993. Soon after the publication, it was banned in Bangladesh and Nasrin was forced to flee her country.
Palpasa Cafe Narayan Wagle: Palpasa CafeThe book published in 2005 in Nepal won the Madan Puraskar, Nepal’s highest literary honor.
thegodofsmallthings1 Arundhati Roy: The God Of Small Things was a debut novel for Indian writer Roy, and it remains her only novel. The book won the booker prize in 1997.
a-thousand-splendid-suns  Khaled Hosseni: Hosseni is an Afghan American author. Published in 2007, A Thousand Splendid Suns was number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for 15 weeks following its release.
FunnyBoy_Cover Shyam Selvadurai: Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan- Canadian novelist. The novel was published in 1994 and it won the Lambda Literary Award for gay male fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award.
The White Tiger Aravind Adiga: Published in 2008, this book won the 40th Man Booker Prize the same year. The White Tiger is Indian author Adiga’s first novel.
The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri: Lahiri is an Indian American author. Her book The Namesake was originally published as a story in the New Yorker, and was later expanded to a novel.

Correction: An earlier version of the article was missing the eighth novel. 


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