When studying for the Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, and General Knowledge sections of the MBA entrance exam, candidates typically read fiction books and newspapers.
However, one should expand their reading to good books to prepare for the CAT. A crucial aspect of self-discovery is investigating new authors and subjects. The best business schools look for applicants who can defend their arguments with examples. And what could be better than using excellent Indian fiction to hone our critical thinking abilities?
Pick up some books by Indian authors who have presented our nation, cultures, and economics in fresh ways.
This article will recommend these 10 Indian fiction writers to every MBA student and aspirant this season.
Ruskin Bond is a famous Indian author of British descent who has written over a hundred books for children and young adults.
He was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India, and grew up in Shimla, Dehradun, and Mussoorie. Bond's books are known for their simple, evocative writing style and their depiction of the landscapes, people, and culture of India.
Many of his books are set in the Indian Himalayas, where he has lived for much of his life. Bond has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours.
Some of his most famous books include "The Blue Umbrella," "A Flight of Pigeons," and "The Room on the Roof," which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957.
Khushwant Singh was a prominent Indian author, lawyer, and journalist known for his wit, sarcasm, and controversial views.
He was born in Hadali, Punjab, and grew up in Lahore, where he studied law and began his career as a journalist. He later moved to Delhi and worked as an editor for several publications, including the Illustrated Weekly of India and the Hindustan Times.
Singh was also a member of the Indian Parliament and served as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.
Singh was a prolific writer who wrote over 80 books on various topics, including history, politics, culture, and literature.
Some of his most well-known works include "Train to Pakistan," a novel about the partition of India; "The Company of Women," a collection of short stories; and "The History of Sikhs," a non-fiction work on the history of the Sikh community.
Singh was known for his sharp wit and ability to make controversial and provocative statements, and his writing often stirred up debate and discussion.
He received numerous awards for his writing, including the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours.
Sidin Vadukut is an Indian writer, journalist, and author, known for his humorous and irreverent writing style. He is the author of several popular books, including "The Sceptical Patriot," "Dork:
The Incredible Adventures of Robin 'Einstein' Varghese" and "The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad " are known for their humorous and entertaining portrayal of Indian culture and society.
Vadukut is a journalist who has worked for several publications, including the Economic Times and Mint.
He has written articles and columns on various topics, including business, economics, politics, and culture.
In addition to his work as a writer and journalist, Vadukut is also a popular speaker and has given talks and lectures at various events and conferences.
Saadat Hassan Manto & Ismat Chugtai
Saadat Hassan Manto and Ismat Chugtai were both prominent Indian writers known for their bold and controversial writing.
Manto was a Pakistani short story writer, playwright, and author considered one of the greatest writers in the Urdu language. He was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, and grew up in Amritsar.
Manto's writing often explored partition, violence, and social inequality themes, and his work was known for its honesty and directness. Some of his most well-known works include "Toba Tek Singh," "Thanda Gosht," and "Manto ke Afsane."
Manto received numerous awards for his writing, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, one of India's highest literary honours.
Ismat Chugtai was an Indian writer and feminist who is known for her pioneering work in the Urdu language.
She was born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, and grew up in a liberal and educated household. Chugtai's writing often explored themes of gender, sexuality, and social justice, and her work was known for its bold and progressive stance.
Some of her most well-known works include "Lihaaf," "The Quilt," and "The Crooked Line." Chugtai received numerous awards for her writing, including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours.
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, and polymath who was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, in 1861 and was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a reform movement in Hinduism.
Tagore received his early education at home and later attended school in England, where he studied law and philosophy.
Tagore was a prolific writer and is regarded as one of the greatest poets in the Bengali language. He wrote poetry, fiction, and plays and was also an accomplished musician and painter.
His most famous work is the collection of poems "Gitanjali," which won him the Nobel Prize in 1913. His other notable works include "The Home and the World," a novel about the Indian independence movement, and "The Post Office," a play about the power of love and friendship.
Tagore was also a political and social activist and was deeply committed to promoting education and cultural exchange. He received numerous awards and honours for his work, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, and travel writer. He was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1952 and grew up in India and England. Seth studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University and later pursued a doctorate in economics at Stanford University.
Seth is best known for his epic novel "A Suitable Boy," published in 1993 and became a best-seller.
The novel, set in post-independence India, follows the story of Lata, a young woman searching for a suitable husband, and the complex relationships and social changes that shape her life. Seth's other notable works include "The Golden Gate," a novel written in verse form, and "An Equal Music," a story about the love affair between a violinist and a pianist.
Seth has also written several books of poetry and travel writing. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours.
Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author known for her fiction and non-fiction writing about the Indian diaspora and the immigrant experience. She was born in London, England, in 1967 and grew up in Rhode Island, United States.
Lahiri received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College and her master's degree from Boston University and later pursued a doctorate in Renaissance Studies at Boston University.
Lahiri's writing often explores the themes of identity, belonging, and cultural displacement, and her work has been widely praised for its insight and emotional depth. Lahiri's debut collection of short stories, "Interpreter of Maladies," won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000, and her first novel, "The Namesake," was published in 2003.
Some of her other notable works include "The Lowland," a novel about two brothers and the political turmoil in India, and "In Other Words," a memoir about her journey to learn Italian and her love of the language.
Lahiri has received numerous awards for her writing, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and the National Humanities Medal.
Amitav Ghosh is an Indian author known for his fiction and non-fiction writing about history, culture, and the environment.
He was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1956 and grew up in India and Bangladesh. Ghosh received his bachelor's degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and his doctorate in social anthropology from Oxford University.
Ghosh is the author of several novels, including "The Shadow Lines," "The Glass Palace," and "The Sea of Poppies," which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
His non-fiction work includes "In an Antique Land," a travelogue and historical study, and "The Great Derangement," a book about climate change and the failure of the literary imagination.
Ghosh's writing is known for its immersive and richly detailed portrayal of history and culture, and his work has been widely praised for its insight and depth. Ghosh has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honours, and the Jnanpith Award, one of India's highest literary honours.
R K Narayan
R.K. Narayan, also known as Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, was an Indian writer considered one of the pioneers of Indian English literature.
He was born in Madras (now Chennai) in 1906 and grew up in Mysore. Narayan received his education at Maharaja's College in Mysore and later worked as a teacher and a journalist.
Narayan is best known for his novels set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi, which he created and wrote about in several of his works.
Some of his most famous novels include "Swami and Friends," "The Guide," and "The English Teacher." Narayan's writing is known for its simplicity, humour, and insight into human nature, and his work has been widely praised for its depiction of ordinary life in India.
Narayan received numerous awards for his writing, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours, and the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour in India.
Rohinton Mistry is an Indian Canadian author known for his fiction and short stories about the Parsi community in India and the immigrant experience in Canada.
He was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, in 1952 and immigrated to Canada in 1975. Mistry received his bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto and later pursued a master's degree in English literature at the University of Ottawa.
Mistry is the author of several novels, including "Such a Long Journey," "A Fine Balance," and "Family Matters," which were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
His writing is known for its vivid and richly detailed portrayal of characters and their lives, and his work has been widely praised for its insight and emotional depth.
Mistry has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Governor General's Literary Award, the Giller Prize, and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.