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Any great or favorite historical novels set in India? I'm sadly at the end of Shadow of the Moon, which I've loved, as I have The Far Pavilions. I seem to be on a bit on an India kick right now; I recently read Eliza Fay's Original Letters From India, a highly entertaining travel memoir about one Englishwoman's travels through 18th century India. I also have The Siege of Krishnapur, The Sandalwood Tree, and Zemindar on the TBR mountain.
well, not precisely historical fiction but I really enjoyed the steampunk/alt history Peshawar Lancers.
I guess also Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie is historical fiction in a uniquely Salman Rushdie kind of way.
And I almost forgot A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. A superb book that we may not immediately think of historical fiction, but according to Wikipedia :
The 1474-page novel is a four-family saga set in post-independence, post-Partition India, and alternatively satirically and earnestly examines issues of national politics in the period leading up to the first post-independence national election of 1952, inter-sectarian animosity, the status of lower caste peoples such as the jatav, land reform and the eclipse of the feudal princes and landlords, academic affairs, inter- and intra-family relations and a range of further issues of importance to the characters. The Indian journalist and novelist Khushwant Singh has said of the novel that, "I lived through that period and I couldn't find a flaw. It really is an authentic picture of Nehru's India."9 The novel was, despite its formidable length, a bestseller, and propelled Seth into the public spotlight.
I am currently reading Mission to Kabul by Harriet Ronken Lynton. Ronken Lynton is an American author who lived in India for many years. Her fiction is based on true events, which she discovered in archives.
Mission to Kabul gives a very authentic picture of life under British rule in India, and the corruption of colonial rule from the point of view of an Indian, who gets caught up in its machinations. As the main character is Muslim, the novel gives us a glimpse of the culture and life-style, typical of Muslims in 19th Century India.
I remember reading The Far Pavillions, but A Passage to India and the Raj Quartet, starting with The Jewel in the Crown are my go-to historical novels about India. I'd also include Kim, as the lone British classic set in the British Raj.
For a more recent setting I'd also mention A Fine Balance, which I think is India of the 1970s. And for a more quirky recommendation, there's also Flashman and the Mountain of Light.
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