8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

We unveil the Indian authors that went viral on BookTok, as their novels captivated readers globally with their compelling narratives.

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

Swati Teerdhala's trilogy bursts with passionate romance

In the age of social media, platforms like BookTok have revolutionised the way readers discover and engage with literature.

From trending hashtags to viral book recommendations, the influence of BookTok extends far beyond mere entertainment, often propelling lesser-known titles into the spotlight.

Among the plethora of viral sensations, books by Indian authors have carved out a significant niche.

With rich storytelling and poignant themes, we look at a curated selection of books by Indian authors that have gone viral on TikTok and taken BookTok by storm.

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

An octogenarian experiences a profound sadness after losing her husband, but eventually finds a renewed zest for life.

Her unconventional choices, like befriending a hijra (trans) woman, puzzle her bohemian daughter, who always considered herself the more ‘modern’ of the two.

At her mother’s insistence, they journey to Pakistan, where they confront the lingering pain of her youth during Partition.

This trip prompts them to reassess their roles as mothers, daughters, and women, through a feminist lens.

Geetanjali Shree infuses her narrative with playful humour and vibrant language, creating a book that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Amidst the laughter, it also serves as a timely critique of the divisive impact of borders, whether they be physical, religious, or gender-based.

Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

When Tina Das faces a pivotal moment in her life, she sees her cousin’s extravagant wedding in Delhi as a potential escape from her professional and personal dilemmas.

Hoping for clarity amidst the opulence of Colebrookes, Delhi’s elite country club, Tina anticipates a week of reflection and relaxation away from the hustle of New York.

However, with her entire family present, tranquility quickly becomes a distant dream.

Her divorced parents embark on new romantic journeys, placing Tina in the awkward position of mediator.

Unexpected encounters and work complications further complicate matters, while her friend Marianne’s romantic escapades threaten chaos back home.

Amidst luxurious surroundings and top-notch drinks, Tina finds herself navigating familial drama that may finally compel her to confront the decisions she’s long evaded.

In Destination Wedding, infused with warmth and wit, Tina grapples with themes of family dynamics, career paths, and the search for a sense of belonging.

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

In rural 1929 Punjab, Mehar, a young bride, embarks on a quest to uncover the identity of her new husband.

Amidst a complex marital arrangement with three brothers, she and her co-brides toil in the family’s secluded “china room”.

This room is isolated from male interaction except for ominous nighttime summons by their domineering mother-in-law, Mai.

Determined and curious, Mehar clandestinely observes the brothers, seeking clues to her husband’s identity beneath her veil.

Her discoveries set off a chain of perilous events against the backdrop of India’s burgeoning independence movement, forcing Mehar to confront harsh realities.

Interwoven with Mehar’s tale is the story of a young man arriving at his uncle’s Punjab residence in 1999, battling a crippling addiction.

Raised in England as the son of immigrant shopkeepers, his struggles with racism and alienation push him towards dangerous escapes.

Seeking solace at the family’s ancestral farmstead, he confronts his demons amidst the enigmatic locked “china room”.

Drawing inspiration from author Sunjeev Sahota’s family history, China Room intricately explores how societal structures shape individual destinies.

Say You’ll Be Mine by Naina Kumar

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

Meghna Raman’s parents had their hearts set on her becoming an engineer, but she followed her passion instead, pursuing a career as a theatre teacher and aspiring playwright.

However, when she learns that her close friend, writing partner, and secret crush, Seth, is engaged—to someone other than her—she realises he’s slipping through her fingers.

To complicate matters, he asks her to be his best man, a role she reluctantly accepts.

Feeling the weight of expectation, Meghna agrees to let her parents set her up with a potential match, hoping to find the engineer they envisioned her becoming.

Enter Karthik Murthy, a grumpy yet attractive engineer who is reluctantly participating in his mother’s matchmaking schemes to appease her.

Unexpectedly, he finds himself drawn to Meghna’s vibrant personality.

Though he can’t offer her a genuine commitment, they agree to a fake engagement to navigate their respective challenges.

As they bond over shared experiences and develop feelings for each other, they confront their expectations and insecurities.

Despite their initial reservations, their connection deepens, threatening to disrupt the carefully constructed facades they’ve maintained.

Say You’ll Be Mine offers a nostalgic nod to romantic comedies of the 90s.

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

Esha operates in the shadows as the enigmatic Viper, a skilled assassin for the rebels, her true identity shrouded in secrecy.

Driven by a thirst for vengeance after the royal coup, she embarks on her most critical mission yet: eliminating the tyrannical General Hotha.

Meanwhile, Kunal has been groomed as a soldier from a young age, dutifully serving King Vardaan under the watchful eye of his uncle, the general.

Despite his unwavering loyalty, Kunal feels a tug towards the outside world, which teeters on the brink of chaos.

When Esha and Kunal’s paths collide, a chain of events is set into motion beyond their control.

As they each navigate their agendas, they realise they’re mere pawns in a larger game.

Amidst the unravelling of societal norms and the emergence of a new era, both rebel and soldier are faced with decisions that challenge their morals.

Infused with echoes of ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, Swati Teerdhala’s trilogy bursts with passionate romance and heart-pounding action.

That’s why she became one of the most trending Indian authors on TikTok. 

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

Nestled at the base of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas, a dilapidated and solitary house is home to a disillusioned judge yearning for a tranquil retirement.

His solitude is disrupted when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, unexpectedly arrives.

The judge’s cook, preoccupied with thoughts of his son Biju navigating the bustling culinary scene of New York, takes on the responsibility of looking after Sai.

As one of the most popular Indian authors, Kiran Desai’s remarkable novel unfolds against this backdrop, weaving jubilation and sorrow.

As her characters confront a myriad of choices, the repercussions of colonialism intersect with the complexities of the modern world, casting light on the intricate web of human existence.

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

Fleeing from an abusive marriage at 17, Lakshmi finds sanctuary in the bustling 50s pink city of Jaipur.

There, she carved out a niche as the most sought-after henna artist and trusted confidante to the elite women of high society.

Despite her intimate knowledge of their lives, she guards her secrets closely.

Renowned for her intricate designs and wise counsel, Lakshmi navigates the delicate balance of maintaining her reputation and livelihood amidst envious whispers.

As she strives for independence, her world is shaken when her long-lost husband reappears years later, accompanied by a spirited young girl—Lakshmi’s unsuspected sister.

Suddenly, the protective barriers she has erected are tested.

Yet, undeterred, she continues to channel her talents, uplifting those around her even in the face of adversity.

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

8 Novels by Indian Authors that Went Viral on BookTok

In the spring of 1969, Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, oversees the Healing Garden in Shimla.

Meanwhile, Malik, having completed his education at a private school, ventures into adulthood at the age of 20.

His encounter with a young woman named Nimmi coincides with his apprenticeship at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace.

Returning to the Pink City of his youth, Malik discovers that old patterns persist.

When tragedy strikes on the cinema’s opening night with the collapse of its balcony, blame is conveniently assigned.

However, Malik senses a deeper, darker truth and resolves to uncover it.

Drawing on his experiences as a former street child, he cautiously navigates through a labyrinth of deception.

From the streets of Jaipur to the majestic Himalayan foothills, the literary landscape of India offers a treasure trove of captivating tales waiting to be discovered.

Through the lens of BookTok, readers have embarked on a journey of exploration, uncovering hidden gems and immersing themselves in the diverse narratives crafted by Indian authors.

As the digital age continues to reshape the literary landscape, the influence of platforms like BookTok promises to amplify marginalised voices.

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

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