The library collection contains almost 100 titles of fiction about Dalits. This includes novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. Here are some selected fiction works from our collection in English and South Asian vernacular.
In English. With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future. As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
In English. First published in India in 1947, this novel is set in rural Kerala and illustrates the author's use of black comedy and macabre humour. Ruthlessly determined to improve his lot for the sake of his son, Chudalamuttu gains a semblance of dignity but sacrifices his humanity in the process.
In English. Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.
In English. A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation.
In English. With precision, vitality, and a fury that earned him praise as India’s Charles Dickens, Mulk Raj Anand recreates in Untouchable what it was like to live on the fringes of society in pre-independence India. Bakha, an attractive, proud, and strong young man, is also an Untouchable, the lowest of the low in India’s caste system. A sweeper and a toilet-cleaner, he must warn others on the street of his status so that he will not pollute them with his presence. In this urgent 1935 re-creation of one day in the life of an outcast, a violent encounter leads Bakha to question his fate—and to find an answer in the unlikeliest of places.
Call Number: PL4758.9.R28425 G58 2010 - Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2010
In English. Where the word becomes flesh, where reason is dazzled and magic reigns supreme: in that world delves Rajkumar. Sensuous and ferocious, the poetry of Rajkumar cracks open a world that offers the modern reader stunning glimpses into a magic-drenched, living dalit history. Born into a traditional shaman community in a border town between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Rajkumar revels in his ability to claim disparate discourses as his poetic subjects. His angry goddesses of unreason and excessive emotion embody unfettered power, independence and freedom—elements excised from the daily life of the Dalit.
In English. The poets are nearly all of the most prominent figures in Marathi Dalit poetry. Their impassioned cry against subjugation, humiliation and atrocities, and their intoxicated singing of the dawn of a new life, are what this first English anthology of Dalit poetry is about.