10 Successful Debut Titles by Indian Authors

list of authors who had award winning first books
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Team P3 curates a list of successful debut titles by Indian Authors every book lover must read.

In a country and literary industry teeming with varied stories, perspectives, and voices, it’s always hard to make your mark with your very first work. At the same time, it’s also true that your first book can make or break your career. Today’s article will look at some successful debut titles by Indian authors, whether critically or commercially (or both!).

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As is true with most lists, ours, too, is incomplete. There are hundreds of great debut titles by Indian authors which is out of scope here. To add to our list, we urge you to share successful debut titles we might have missed below through comments. Let’s begin our adventure then!

For more Book Recommendations: 8 Vivid and irresistible Indian fantasy books for children

List of Successful Debut Titles

The Room on the Roof

Title: The Room on the Roof

Author: Ruskin Bond

Publisher: Puffin

Price: 189

Pages: 208


Topping our list of Successful Debut Titles is this brilliant book.

We start with the classic The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond. This autobiographical debut novel takes us to the landscapes of Dehradun and the coming-of-age journey of a young boy, Rusty. Published when Bond was just 17, The Room on the Roof contains the essence of adolescence, along with the struggles, dreams, and rebellious spirit of this phase of life. The story is much like a wisp of mountain air, traveling through the charming streets and vibrant bazaars, showing the experiences of characters who inhabit these pages.

Bond’s ability to infuse simplicity through his words and emotions, as always, is magical. Bond’s debut is a nostalgic journey that fleshes out the innocence of youth. It is an invitation to rediscover the magic of first loves, lasting friendships, and the bittersweet journey of growing up. It’s a timeless classic that speaks to readers across generations, and for good reason.

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The God of Small Things

Title: The God of Small Things

Author: Arundhati Roy

Publisher: Penguin India

Price: 301

Pages: 356


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

Our next stop is Arundhati Roy’s magnum opus, The God of Small Things. It’s one of the finest offerings of Indian literature, with themes of caste, love, and the consequences of defying societal norms. The story travels back and forth, between past and present, around the lives of the twins Estha and Rahel, whose lives have been entwined ever since their haunting childhood events.

From the dangers of forbidden love to the cruelties of rigid social hierarchies, Roy dissects our society, and humanity, in the process. Her imagery and prosaic writing elevates the impact of the story, depicting the sun-drenched Keralite coasts detailedly. This Booker-winning title will stay with you with its minute detailing and unique perspectives.

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The White Tiger

Title: The White Tiger

Author: Arvind Adiga

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Price: 229

Pages: 332


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

Time to shift gears with Arvind Adiga’s Booker-winning The White Tiger. This debut novel is an analysis of ambition, class divides, and the everyday realities of modern-day India. Shifting through the streets of Delhi and exposing the societal underbelly through a chauffeur, Balram Halwai, the book is revolutionary in its approach. It’s an unapologetic commentary on the disparities between the haves and the have-nots, brought out perfectly with Balram’s dark humor.

A page-turner, the book doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths. Adiga’s sharp prose and thrilling writing chart Balram’s journey from servitude to empowerment. The novel shows a mirror to a rapidly changing India and its complexities, where the pursuit of success comes at a hefty cost. If you want a dizzying tour through our contemporary society with themes of power and corruption at their core, don’t miss this!

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The Immortals of Meluha

Title: The Immortals of Meluha

Author: Amish

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Price: 269

Pages: 415


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

The book that took Indian literature and the publishing industry by storm, The Immortals of Meluha mixes mythology and philosophy with a fantastical perspective. It was immensely popular for its reimagining of beloved and revered religious and mythological figures. Shiva is a Tibetan tribal leader who gets sucked into a prophecy that threatens to change the fate of Meluha and the entire world.

Mixing contemporary elements, Tripathi’s story surprises and delights at every corner! The first installment of a bestselling trilogy, the book packs intense action and philosophical concepts. The radical interpretation introduces familiar characters in a new light. Those who love mythology and fantasy must try out this series!

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Interpreter of Maladies

Title: Interpreter of Maladies

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers India

Price: 299

Pages: 210


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

Lahiri has been critically and commercially acclaimed since her very first work, a collection of short stories titled Interpreter of Maladies. Lahiri’s writing defies simple descriptions. It has a calmness that gently urges you to pause and spend time with her beautiful characters. Navigating the complexities of human relationships, cultural identities, and diasporic nuances, her stories are set around Indian and Indian-American experiences. Each story brims with relatable emotions and a simplicity that speaks to you.

At its core, the book seeks to understand and belong, much like its characters. It celebrates shared human experiences and promises stories you’ll cherish forever. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the book deserves reading by the simple fact that it’s written by Lahiri.

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Serious Men

Title: Serious Men

Author: Manu Joseph

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: 330

Pages: 336


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

Welcome to the satirical world of Serious Men by Manu Joseph, where ambition clashes with class dynamics and truth and fiction are barely different. Ayyan Mani is a lower-class employee at the Institute of Theory and Research in Mumbai. Frustrated by the societal constraints around him, he creates a complex web of deceit to move into the world of intellectual elites. Serious Men’s biggest achievement is its razor-sharp wit and keen observations.

The novel tackles issues of caste and social stratification with dark humor that is as entertaining as it’s thoughtful. The book prompts you to reflect on the absurdities we live among and the lengths one may go to defy societal expectations. This debut novel earned Joseph the Hindu Literary Prize while securing his place among one of the foremost contemporary voices in Indian literature.

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Five Point Someone

Title: Five Point Someone

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Publisher: Rupa Publications India

Price: 235

Pages: 267


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

No one has arguably influenced Indian literature and the Indian publishing market the way Chetan Bhagat has, and it all started with Five Point Someone. A funny and relatable story of college life, friendship, and the pursuit of identity, the book is set against the reputed Indian Institute of Technology. It follows three engineering students (Hari, Ryan, and Alok) and their misadventures. from academic pressure, love stories, and the race for success.

Adapted into an arguably more influential movie, 3 Idiots, the book has a conversational and witty style, a major reason behind its incredible reach. The novel is also a nostalgic trip for many, as it captures the college experience with ample humor and relatability. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, entertaining read that resonates with the quirks of college life, Chetan Bhagat’s debut promises a trip down memory lane.

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The Far Field

Title: The Far Field

Author: Madhuri Vijay

Publisher: Fourth Estate India

Price: 509

Pages: 444


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

Identity, loss, and the impact of our choices are some of the many themes this gorgeous book has. Vijay’s novel has the picturesque backdrop of Kashmir, where Shalini, the protagonist, goes on a journey to find the truth behind a mysterious friendship her mother had during troubled times. It blends family drama and political intrigue with the complexities of human connections.

Vijay’s lyrical prose evokes the haunting beauty of Kashmir. As Shalini travels into the past, you, too, explore love, grief, and the search for meaning in a world filled with conflict. Winner of the JCB Prize for Literature in 2019, The Far Field is a novel that goes deep into the complexities of human relationships against a backdrop of political turmoil. The debut guarantees an emotionally resonant experience.

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The Zoya Factor

Title: The Zoya Factor

Author: Anuja Chauhan

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Price: 424

Pages: 464


Next on our list of Successful Debut Titles is this amazing title.

A delightful rom-com set against a world of cricket and luck, Anuja Chauhan started off strong with her debut novel. We meet Zoya Singh Solanki, an advertising professional who accidentally becomes the Indian cricket team’s lucky charm. As she travels through the unpredictable world of cricket superstitions, she gets stuck in a whirlwind of media frenzy, celebrity encounters, and an unexpected love story.

The novel combines the thrill of cricket with laugh-out-loud humor and a warm love story. Chauhan’s debut celebrates the unpredictable nature of life and love. For a feel-good, entertaining read with sports, fun, and romance, this is the perfect title!

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You Can Win

Title: You Can Win

Author: Shiv Khera

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Price: 321

Pages: 314


This debut self-help book is a roadmap to success, a source of motivation, and a guide to a winning mindset. Filled with personal anecdotes, motivational stories, and practical tips that urge you to take charge of their lives, the book has insights on goal setting, positive thinking, and becoming successful.

Khera’s accessible writing style and actionable steps make this a manual for professional success; it’s a guide to building a fulfilling and purpose-driven life. If you’re seeking inspiration to conquer your goals, find a positive mindset, and reach success, Shiv Khera’s debut is the motivational tool you’ve been looking for.

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Amritesh Mukherjee

Amritesh Mukherjee

Amritesh doesn't know what to do with his life, so he writes. He also doesn't know what to write, so he reads. Gift him a book if you chance upon him and he'll love you forever.

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