It looks like 2020 is going to be a treat for all readers! Not only are a horde of international authors like Taslima Nasreen, Hilary Mantel and Isabel Allende bringing us their newest novels this year, Indian authors are also stepping up with some wonderful books on offer. Given the rise in popularity of translation literature, it comes as no surprise to note translations forming a major part of this book list. Apart from this, expect books from authors like Jeet Thayil, Aravind Adiga, Perumal Murugan and Benyamin just in the first half of this year. Get your shopping carts ready with us, because we absolutely cannot wait to read these books!

01

The Lion Of Kashmir

Siddhartha Gigoo

Abdul Aziz, Commandant of Special Forces, Kashmir, suddenly disappears. Zooni, his daughter and a human rights activist, has to go home to find her father. One night, while stranded in a safe house, Zooni comes across secrets that will change her life and those of her father and half-brother. Zooni will be a witness to her father’s quandary and his choices. It’s a story, not just about a family, but of Kashmir itself.

Releasing on January 05, 2020. Buy it here.

02

Low

Jeet Thayil

Dominic Ullis arrives in Bombay in the wake of his wife’s death, heartbroken, grief-stricken and needing to escape from the memories. Getting high on a new drug Meow Meow, Ullis takes a ride through the city, and meets its many inhabitants, each with a peculiar story of their own. But whom can he trust, when he cannot trust his own mind, which is hazy from the drugs? Jeet Thayil’s newest novel is an (mis)adventure one should surely not miss.

Releasing on January 23, 2020. Buy it here.

03

Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line

Deepa Anappara

Jai is a crime show fiend, and believes he has excellent detective skills. So, when a classmate goes missing, Jai, along with his friends, Pari and Faiz, start interviewing suspects and search for clues. But when more children keep disappearing, rumours start popping up about soul-snatching djinns. Jai and his friends, however, remain unaware that danger lurks close to home. Based on real-life incidents, this novel will keep you intrigued, and make you applaud bravery in times of peril.

Releasing on February 01, 2020. Buy it here.

04

Amnesty

Aravind Adiga

Danny lives in Sydney as an undocumented immigrant, after fleeing Sri Lanka. He lives in a grocery storeroom and works as a cleaner. One morning, he finds out that a female client of his has been murdered. At the murder scene, he identifies a jacket that belongs to another client of his, a doctor who’d been having an affair with the victim. Danny is at an impasse – should he uncover the truth and risk getting thrown out of the country, or should he keep quiet? Aravind Adiga’s newest novel is a timeless story of growing immigrant issues and should be read by everyone.

Releasing on February 20, 2020. Buy it here.

05

Hijab

Guruprasad Kaginele, Pavan N. Rao (Tr.)

America is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world, be it India, Mexico or Somalia. Hijab is set in Minnesota, where three Indian doctors are waiting for their green cards. What follows is a dystopian tale of ‘asking bigger, burning questions about and around identity, immigration, belonging and racial profiling’. From the award-winning author, and translated to English for the first time, Hijab is a masterpiece.

Releasing in February.

06

The Loneliness Of Hira Barua

Arupa Kalita Patangia, Ranjita Biswas (Tr.)

A short story collection featuring an Assamese girl, Hira Barua, and a foreigner named Mariam Austin, The Loneliness Of Hira Barua won the 2014 Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese. It portrays the lives of women in Assam, at a time when the state’s political and social life was constantly unstable and violent. This is a novel eminently suitable for our times from one of the leading feminist voices in the country.

Releasing in February.

07

Rising Heat

Perumal Murugan, Janani Kannan (Tr.)

Selvan’s life changes forever when his home is sold to make room for a housing colony. As the youngest son of a peasant family, he is witness to the manner in which his family’s fortune dwindles, and the increasing familial and financial pressures that have irrevocable consequences. This was Perumal Murugan’s first novel that is now being translated into English and is bound to be a treat for all his fans.

Releasing in April.

08

No Straight Thing Was Ever Made

Urvashi Bahuguna

After receiving praise for her poetry collection Terrarium, Urvashi Bahugana’s next novel is a collection of deeply honest essays. Confronting issues like physical fatigue, professional impact and romantic relationships, Bahugana relies on personal narrative, anecdotes and research to bring us one of the most anticipated nonfiction books of the year.

Releasing in April.

09

The Plague Upon Us

Shabir Ahmed Mir

Shabir Ahmed Mir’s debut novel, The Plague Upon Us, is an intriguing tale of Oedipal guilt, set in 1990s Kashmir. The story revolves around four people residing in the Kashmir valley, where a tragedy sets off tantalising incidents, and pieces start to fit together accordingly. Watch out for this exhilarating novel.  

Releasing in April.

10

Name, Place, Animal, Thing

Daribha Lyndem

Set in Shillong, Name, Place, Animal, Thing is a collection of interconnected stories. A coming-of-age novel, it reveals glimpses of the protagonist’s life as a Protestant Khasi, and the place she calls home. With stories that will touch our hearts, this is definitely a novel to look out for.

Releasing in April.

11

The Man Who Learnt To Fly But Could Not Land

Thachom Poyil Rajeevan, P.J. Mathew (Tr.)

Thachom Poyil Rajeevan’s Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novel is a ‘magical biography’ that is based in the Malabar region of Kerala. Here, we journey through the writer’s political opinions, his art and his love life during the Indian freedom struggle. Tackling issues such as caste and gender discrimination, this novel, available for the first time in English, should not be missed.

Releasing in May.

12

Murder At The Mushaira

Raza Mir

A murder mystery historical novel? Count us in.
Raza Mir’s newest novel is set in 1857 Delhi, during India’s first war of independence, and features characters who were the renowned artists of Urdu literature during that time. The cherry on the top of the proverbial cake is the protagonist – the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib. This promises to be an intriguing story and is well worth waiting for.

Releasing in May.

13

Shareerashastram

Benyamin, B.R. Swarup (Tr.)

Benyamin’s newest novel is a thriller set in the dangerous world of illegal organ trafficking and illegal religious practices. It follows the lives of people caught in a world of power, corruption and greed – a world where people are exploited and their organs are harvested by inducing comas and ‘arranged’ accidents. Having read and enjoyed his JCB Prize For Literature-winning novel, Jasmine Days, we are excitedly waiting for this new one.  

Releasing in June.

14

A Burning

Megha Majumdar

An attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, and the lives of three people change forever. Jivan wants to rise above poverty, but one comment on Facebook makes her guilty of planning the attacks. Jivan’s former high school teacher joins a right-wing party in the hopes of climbing up the ladder of his aspirations, and his success depends on Jivan’s fall. Then, there is Lovely, a hijra, who wants to become a Bollywood star, and can prove Jivan’s innocence, but her court appearance has unexpected consequences. A debut novel about power and greed, Megha Majumdar’s fiction is all set to dazzle us.

Releasing on June 02, 2020. Buy it here.

15

Hunted By The Sky

Tanaz Bhathena

In the kingdom of Ambar, girls with star-shaped birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul has the same mark, and it is also why her parents have been murdered by the King’s ruthless soldiers. When the Sisters of the Golden Lotus take her in and train her in magic, Gul is hell-bent on avenging the murder of her parents. Cavas is ready to join the King’s army in order to save his ill father. But one meeting with Gul draws him in to her battle for vengeance. Mysterious and deadly, this book is the adventure of a lifetime.

Releasing on June 23, 2020. Buy it here.

Disclaimer: The information featured here is accurate as of January 03, 2020.