The Indian literature fraternity is currently buzzing with new, intriguing ideas. While the Indian graphic novels club is simmering, comic culture is taking over and young adult fiction is at its hilt. Which is why this may be the best time to give the usual non-fiction a miss and add something new to your reading list. Here are a few recommendations…Comic books:We 90s kids owe the decline of comic culture in India to the advent of the internet. But as we have seen over the last few years, comic culture is making a sturdy come back, armed with new technology and fuelled by the motivation to depict societal and political unrest, wrapped in humor.
 

Bombaby: The Screen Goddess by Antony Mazzotta

Bombaby: The Screen Goddess by Antony Mazzotta

One of the very first attempts (from the 90s itself) to revive comics in India was ‘Bombaby: The Screen Goddess’. This Antony Mazzotta comic based on contemporary Indian culture was knit around an avatar of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi. It won international recognition for the Indian comic book industry.

 

Angry Mausi by Abhijit Kini

Angry Mausi by Abhijit Kini

More recently, the Indian comic book industry was invaded by an angry mausi with a razor sharp tongue. One of India’s best illustrator/cartoonists, Abhijit Kini released ‘Angry Mausi’ a vigilante bai with Marathi expletives as her deadliest of weapon. This mausi won a nomination for the ‘Best penciller/inker’ at the Comic Con Awards very recently.

 

Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee

Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee

A progressive take on the Indian urban life, the novel traces lives of several characters that challenge the usual urban perception. Touted as India’s first graphic novel, Sarnath Banerjee’s ‘Corridor’ chronicles the lonely urban life through a complex narrative built on the strong platform of ‘text-image ratio’ style of storytelling.

 

Kashmir Pending by Naseer Ahmed

Kashmir Pending by Naseer Ahmed

Srinagar-based writer Naseer Ahmed presents a refreshing and gutsy take on Kashmir as he illustrates a young reforming militant as his protagonist. An unfiltered commentary on Kashmir, the graphic novel depicts the ground realities of the daily life in the valley. Grim, dark, real; the novel recounts why Kashmir is not anything we may have imagined.

Young Adult fiction

Young adult fiction in India is pushing the envelope and is venturing into unexplored territories.

 

Talking of Muskaan by Himanjali Sankar

Talking of Muskaan by Himanjali Sankar

Himanjali Sankar’s ‘Talking of Muskaan’ is one of India’s few books that have ventured into the controversial LGBT territory. This path breaking young adult fiction novella explores the struggles of Muskaan, a fifteen year old girl, who realizes that she is a lesbian and does not fit in with her friends.

 

Queen of Ice by Devika Rangachari

Queen of Ice by Devika Rangachari

Devika Rangachari's ‘Queen of Ice’ brings back to life the tenth-century Kashmir with an impeccable balance of fact and fiction. The book accounts Didda’s life through her turbulent childhood and ambitious youth. Didda, represents the first generation of women folk in India that rose to claim its rights.