The best books about Indian Americans

The best books about Indian Americans

Who picked these books? Meet our 30 experts.

30 authors created a book list connected to Indian Americans, and here are their favorite Indian Americans books

Born Confused

By Tanuja Desai Hidier

Book cover of Born Confused

Reenita Malhotra Hora Author Of Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life... and a Man

From the list on South Asian young adults.

Why did Reenita love this book?

Indians born in the USA are all clubbed under the euphemism, “ABCD.” In other words, American Born Confused Desi. Desi loosely translates as Indian native. There is some truth to this as the question of identity hits each of us when we enter young adulthood. Ethnicity is a huge part of this, and for Indian Americans it is a double whammy—they are so different from their peers born and raised in India, yet so different to their American peers too. I love how Tanuja addresses these challenges in her story.

Book cover of Interpreter of Maladies

Renita D'Silva Author Of The Girl in the Painting: A heartbreaking historical novel of family secrets, betrayal and love

From the list on featuring multicultural characters and themes.

Why did Renita love this book?

I read this sublime short story collection just after I moved to England from India. Saying that these stories of displacement, yearning, loss, love spoke to me is an understatement. I was new to England, missing India which I still thought of as home and while some of the stories brought India back vividly to me, others I could absolutely identify with as they detailed the immigrant experience so beautifully. A book that will always be very close to my heart as I read it and laughed and cried and yearned alongside the characters.

Book cover of Purple Lotus

Judith Teitelman Author Of Guesthouse for Ganesha

From the list on exploring the search for sanctuary.

Why did Judith love this book?

Veena Rao’s Purple Lotus is an inspiring story of one woman’s (Tara) search for and discovery of self-worth, self-determination, inner strength, and authenticity. I admired the author’s fine writing which powerfully captures the harsh realities of a young immigrant’s life in an abusive marriage in a new, foreign country, the pressures and expectations from her traditional family and community back in India, and, ultimately, Tara’s ability and courage to recognize that she is undeserving of such treatment. Concurrently, she realizes that her struggles are emblematic of broader, systemic issues, which Tara forthrightly and eloquently addresses head-on.

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