Showbiz / Mohsin Hamid And 9 Other South Asian Authors You Need To Know Now

Mohsin Hamid And 9 Other South Asian Authors You Need To Know Now

Showbiz Mar 23, 2017

South Asian authors like Mohsin Hamid have carved out a distinct niche for themselves within mainstream literature, catering to the South Asian diaspora.

From breaking taboos to winning accolades, relatable observations on identity and unique storytelling have played a vital role in the rise of these writers’ popularity.

Mohsin Hamid uses intense realism to explore ideas of substance. Photo Credit:

In his latest novel, Hamid explores “migration, mobility between social classes, Islamic fundamentalism, and the relationship between East and the West.”

“There is an emotional violence to this aspect of migration,” he said in an interview. “The aspect of cutting oneself off, severing oneself, from the people one has been close to but who now will occupy a different geographic reality, perhaps forever.”

Exit West is described as “a masterpiece of humility and restraint” and is a modern love story about a young couple. The story focuses on how becoming a refugee is a choice nobody wants to make.

Check out our list of nine other South Asian authors and their must-read novels.

1. Monica Ali, Brick Lane

Brick Lane offers insight on being an immigrant in England as well as life in Bangladesh. Photo Credit:

Monica Ali is a British writer of Bangladeshi origin whose debut novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2003. Ali was also voted Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Brick Lane is about a Bangladeshi immigrant in London torn between a much older husband through an arranged marriage and a political activist she’s lusting after.

2. Indra Sinha, Animal’s People

This novel is loosely based on the real-life Bhopal disaster of 1984. Photo Credit:

Sinha’s novel was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize and won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book From Europe & South Asia.

Animal’s People is about an orphan born before the 1984 Bhopal disaster who walks on all fours because of a gas leak. Known as “Animal,” he’s sex-obsessed and rejects all sympathy for his condition.

3. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi is a well-known British Asian author and playwright. Photo Credit:

The Buddha of Suburbia was Kureishi’s first novel. It touches on themes of identity. The story revolves around Karim, a mixed-race teenage boy from South London who wants to escape his life.

The novel was also was adapted into a BBC drama series in 1993, and David Bowie provided the soundtrack.

4. Meera Syal, Anita and Me

South Asian Authors
Anita and Me was adapted into a comedy-drama film in 2002. Photo Credit:

Meera Syal is a British comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress who gained fame from BBC’s sketch comedy show Goodness Gracious Me.

Anita and Me was Syal’s debut semi-autobiographical novel. It revolves around a British-Punjabi girl’s relationship with an English neighbour in the 1970s.

5. Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways

This novel focuses on experiences of migrant workers in Britain. Photo Credit:

The Year of The Runaways is British author Sunjeev Sahota‘s second novel about the day-to-day lives of immigrants dealing with prejudice, poverty and unemployment.

Sahota calls the book “an homage to the books that made me fall in love with reading — immersive, classic storytelling.”

6. Hari Kunzru, Gods Without Men

The novel’s title is taken from a quote by Honoré de BalzacPhoto Credit:

Gods Without Men follows several characters, spanning across time, all focused in the Nevada desert.

The novel is Hari Kunzru‘s fourth among other extraordinary, countercultural works that have earned him the Betty Trask Prize from the Society of Authors, a British Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, and more.

7. Tahmima Anam, A Golden Age

South Asian Authors
Bangladesh-born writer Tahmima Anam’s first novel. Photo Credit:

A Golden Age is based on the Bangladesh Liberation War through the perspective of one family.

The struggle for independence and brutality of war, along with family life changing forever, are central to Tahmima Anam‘s engaging tale.

8. M.G. Vassanji, The Assassin’s Song

The Globe and Mail calls this novel “timeless.” Photo Credit:

M.G. Vassanji is regarded as an unsung great of African literature.

The Assassin’s Song tackles questions of spirituality, religion and divinity. Vassanji does justice to his protagonist’s soul-searching journey. The character wants to escape his birthright of religious lordship.

9. Anuradha Roy, Sleeping on Jupiter

South asian authors
A novel about violence, love and religion in modern India. Photo Credit:

Award-winning Indian novelist, journalist and editor Anuradha Roy‘s novel reflects on the hypocrisies of South Asian society.

Sleeping On Jupiter is about a woman who revisits childhood experiences of sexual abuse and violence in an Indian temple town.

Main Image Photo Credit:

Nomaan Khan

Nomaan Khan


After spending some time in a completely different field, Nomaan decided to drop it all and switch to Mohawk College to pursue his longtime interest in the world of Journalism. His experience working in multimedia platforms has helped him develop exceptional skills in thinking on his feet, being ...