hindi women authors

Even today, women find themselves caught in a maze of various issues that stem from patriarchy, tradition, religion and capitalism. These problems are woven around male hierarchies and continue to regulate their lives. While male authors in Hindi have attempted to deal with these issues, the space assigned to the female characters they created is solely from a male perspective. Due to this, it becomes essential for us to examine and explore books by Hindi women authors to understand the experiences and issues of women from their point of view.

This list of books written by Hindi women authors demonstrates how women have, over the years, been carving out their own space in literature to explore diverse issues and experiences that are exclusive to them.


Mitro Marjani

Krishna Sobti

Mitro Marjani (To Hell with You Mitro) is the story of Sumitravanti, nicknamed Mitro, the unstoppable daughter-in-law of the Gurudas household. Mitro is a friendless girl from a common middle-class family and is one of Gurudas Lal’s three daughters-in-law. Even though Mitro’s physical needs remain unfulfilled by her husband, she fights for her rights and speaks her mind. Mitro is an expression of Krishna Sobti’s uninhibited portrayal of female sexuality and the book’s sexually explicit language caused an uproar at its time of publication in 1967. Its articulation of provocative issues yanks society and the reader out of their comfort zone.

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Pachpan Khambhe Laal Deewaarein

Usha Priyamvada

Sushma supports her family only to realise that her sacrifices are taken for granted by them. When she falls in love with Neel, her family opposes their relationship fearing the loss of the only earning member in the family. Finally, she succumbs to their constant emotional blackmail and sacrifices her own joy. She believes she is destined to live a lonely life, with pachpan khambhe and laal deewaarein (fifty-five pillars and red walls) of the hostel-building as her only companions. Almost five decades after its first publication in 1972, this classic by Hindi author Usha Priyamvada continues to be relevant due to its realistic portrayal of an Indian woman’s troubles, her suppressed feelings, the agony of separation and her endurance of pain.

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Chaudhah Phere

Shivani (Gaura Pant)

Despite Ahilya’s protests, she is forced by her father, a businessman from Kumaoni, to marry an egotistic and chauvinistic government officer of his choice. Ahilya’s mother had an equally depressing fate when her husband had an affair that led to their subsequent separation. This also caused Ahilya’s grandparents to cut ties with her and refuse her shelter in their home. Ahilya does not wish to go through the same fate as her mother, so she fights tooth and nail with her father to be allowed to choose her own husband. In Chaudhah Phere, Shivani highlights and criticises man’s assumption of the right to behave as he pleases with a woman as well as make decisions on her behalf.

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Aap Ka Bunty

Mannu Bandhari

Eight-year-old Bunty’s parents are separated and in the midst of getting a divorce. Bunty, who is too young to understand the concept of a divorce, is asked to choose between his parents, and this decision has a deep psychological impact on the young child. First published in 1971 and written by Mannu Bhandari, Aap Ka Bunty is a must-read about the dilemma of a family going through a divorce, of how it doesn’t revolve only around the husband and wife, but heavily impacts the children as well.  

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Mrinal Pandey

Author Mrinal Pandey sees incarnations of goddesses in the empowered women around her. These women are strong-willed and are passionate about defying the structures of a male-dominated world. In Devi, she writes about her mother Shivani, who is a prolific Hindi author, her intellectual and domineering aunt, Badi Amma, and a number of activists, reformers and prostitutes. The book is like a catalogue of female voices that refuse to succumb to the rules enforced on them by a male-dominated society.

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Uske Hisse Ki Dhoop

Mridula Garg

Uske Hisse Ki Dhoop is a love story that doesn’t revolve around love, but around the question of freedom. Mridula Garg explores the interrelationship between love and freedom in this book, and asks if love is considered to be unhealthy if it hinders the freedom and development of a person. Women in Indian society have always been placed on the lower end of freedom and liberty as compared to their male counterparts. The book examines this question of inequality in freedom, making it one-of-a-kind read. 

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Havva Ki Betiyon Ki Dastan Dardja

Jaishree Roy

As a victim of female genital mutilation, Mahra is scarred for life. In a bid to protect and save her daughter, Masa, from the same heinous practice, Mahra fights against society, despite severe opposition. Jaishree Roy tackles the issue of female genital mutilation in this novel by perfectly capturing the struggle of a woman against patriarchy and torturous practices. Given that female genital mutilation continues to be a pressing issue today, this book ensures that Mahra’s rebellious scream echoes through your ears and makes your hair stand on its ends.

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Ab Na Banegi Dehari

Padma Sachdev

Ab Na Banegi Dehari is the passionate love story of a widow and a priest. Revati, a young widow, is saved from a suicide attempt by Saint Giribaba of the Shiva temple. Revati eventually seeks companionship in the priest and begins to love him platonically. Revati’s aunt, a widow herself, has ended up in a samadhi. Revati, however, is adamant that she will never end up in the same position as her aunt just for the sake of social conventions. Padma Sachdev’s book is revolutionary in its ideas and is sure to provide you with some food for thought.

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Mridula Behari Ki Lokpriya Kahaniyani

Mridula Behari

Mridula Behari Ki Lokpriya Kahaniyan is a compilation of stories about the journey of the writer spanning a period of four decades. Published in 2019, these stories are reminiscent of the past and are charged with an emotional energy. These are heartfelt tales by the author, written with a conscious awareness of her own beliefs, and those of the country and the period she is writing in.

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eleanor pinto

A lover of various kinds of artistic output and practitioner of a few herself, Eleanor Pinto is currently pursuing her Master's degree in English and draws her inspiration from artists ranging from Chopin and Beethoven to Dali and Kahlo. She believes that she lives in a world where the lines between the literary and the real world are blurred. And that, for Eleanor, contains endless possibilities.

You can read her articles here.