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Few international authors enjoy the kind of mass readership in India that 61-year-old Brazilian author Paulo Coelho does. His The Alchemist (1987), written after he made a life-altering pilgrimage to the Spanish cultural and religious

Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Miller is the writer whose works gave me the first stimulus to write. When I read his works, especially this one, I said to myself, “Ok, this is literature." He was a rebellious writer whose books were censored for years, and that in itself is meaningful for me.

Fictions

by Jorge Luis Borges

I read one of Borges’ short stories in a science-fiction magazine when I was 20, and I immediately fell in love with his style and his universe. Later on, I discovered this collection (called ‘Ficciones’ in French) that had a short story, ‘The Babel Library’, which is my all-time favourite. Borges is the only South American writer whose every book I have read and re-read.

Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

by Jorge Amado

Amado, in my view, is the best Brazilian writer. He portrayed the Brazilian spirit to the world. This is a

brilliant book set in the

1920s, when the Cacao kings ruled Brazil — a story about adulterous love, intrigue and violence. He masterfully weaves together two plots in the book.

The Outsider

by Albert Camus

The very first page of this violent book mesmerized me. I read it when I was in my 30s and was fascinated by Camus’ simple and direct language. Given the increasing xenophobic tendencies prevalent in today’s world, this book is still very relevant.

Or I’ll Dress You in Mourning

by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins

This novel narrates the story of one of the last century’s most famous matadors, El Cordobés. The interesting point in its narrative is the intercalation of the great bull fight in Madrid, where Cordobés shows to his audience his fame and skill, and where he receives what is called the “alternativa", which recognizes his gifts as a bullfighter.

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