Selected Gujarati Literature

A highly recommended mix of classics and contemporary literature :

These and other Gujarati publications can be acquired from many sources. The two we use are :
Lokmilap Trust, P.O. Box 23, Bhavnagar 364 001, India. Phone : +91-278-256-6402 Email
Prasar, 1888 Atabhai Avenue, Bhavnagar 364 002, India. Phone : +91-278-256-8452 Email

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Acharya, Gunavantray; Dariyalaal; 1941
A classic among the few Gujarati maritime adventure stories, this is a well-planned, dramatic and attractive story with much realism.
Buch, Chandrashankar 'Sukani'; Devo Dhadhal; 1937
An 18th century adventure story of the heroes that roamed the seven seas is full of details and exciting yet realistic.
Chaudhari, Raghuvir; Amruta; 1965
The novel that brought fame and proved the author's preparedness.
Chaudhari, Raghuvir; Uparwaas-Sahwaas-Antarwaas; 1975
A colorful documentary novel about the social changes in the aftermath of the Indian independence.
Desai, Ramanlal V.; Bhaarelo Agni; 1935
Considered to be the author's most successful historical novel, it combines some real and imaginary characters to tell the story of the 1857 struggle for independence.
Desai, Ramanlal V.; Gramlakshmi, Vol 1-4; 1933-37
The idealistic glimpse of a village society describes a young man's crusade to implement self-help plans in a village society.
Desai, Ramanlal V.; Kokila; 1928
An enjoyable novel about a happy and sweet marriage.
'Dhumketu'; Jeewanpanth; 1949
The narrative about a simple and proud Brahmin family's difficult journey through life.
Kapadia, Kundanika; Parodh Thatan Pahelan; 1968
The story of how one can overcome the obstacles and connect with the happy face of life is the theme of this novel.
Kapadia, Kundanika; Saat Pagalan AAkashmaan; 1984
A novel expressing the feminine frustrations resulting from the puzzling man-woman relationships. The struggle between women's existence and self-respect is portrayed here.
Kavi, Nhanalal; Usha; 1918
The first noteworthy Gujarati mini-novel; its refreshing and highly adorned prose reaches poetic levels very frequently causing some to call it the 'Kadambari' of Gujarati.
Macwan, Joseph; Aangaliyaat; 1986
A powerful story about the life-struggle of weavers living in a Kheda district village.
Mehta, Dhirendra; Chihna; 1978
The polio-crippled and extremely sensitive principal character's struggle to lead a life of self-respect is the theme of this novel.
Munshi, Kanaiyalal M.; Gujaratno Naath; 1917
An undisputed classic, this historical novel helped transform Gujarati novel into its current form.
Munshi, Kanaiyalal M.; Jay Somnaath; 1940
The principal strength of this historical novel is the descriptions contained in the Solanki era tale of chivalry and heroism.
Munshi, Kanaiyalal; Pruthiveevallabh; 1921
The fast pace of events, dramatic presentation, powerful characterizations and sharpness of language distinguish this historical romance.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Bandhan Ane Mukti; 1939
With the 1857 freedom struggle as the backdrop, This is the story of the triumph of moral values and the sacrifices made for it.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Bandighar; 1935
The author's first novel. Jailed freedom-fighters' struggle against the repressive prison officials is painted with much feeling.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Deep Nirvaan; 1944
The author's ability to bring the past to life and to extract contemporary meaning from it separates this work sets the standard for Gujarati historical novels.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Jher To Pidhan Chhe Jaani Jaani, Vol. 1-3; 1952-85
One must read these volumes to believe how touching a story that covers this vast expanse of space and time can be.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Socrates; 1974
"... I consider Socrates to be my most important creation ..." "My main objective is to make Socrates come alive among us in these rotten times." - Darshak
Patel, Dhiruben; Aandhali Gali; 1983
The story developed around a daughter that remains unmarried to care for her lonely father.
Patel, Dhiruben; Shimalanan Phool; 1976
With the backdrop of the delicate relationship between a man and a woman, this novel develops the feminine heart as a beautiful sculpture.
Patel, Dhiruben; Waansno Ankur; 1968
An artistic and skillful depiction of rebellion in a youth against a grandfather that dotes on him.
Patel, Pannalal; Malela Jeev; 1941
"... this novel can represent Gujarat among all Indian literature ... and even the world literature." - 'Sundaram'
Patel, Pannalal; Manawini Bhawai; 1947
The author's supreme creation containing a realistic picture of the rural village life in the Northeastern corner of Gujarat.
Patel, Pannalal; Pachhale Barane; 1947
Amidst the environment of scheming and intrigue to decide on a successor to the throne of a feudal state, the triumph of love is portrayed.
Patel, Pannalal; Walamanan; 1940
This mini-novel tells an unusual story about life in a small village. Realism, living nature and strong sketches of even minor characters are its distinguishing features.
Petlikar, Ishwar; Janamteep; 1944
Built around the love-story of Chanda and Bhima, this novel is unsurpassed for its realism about the life and society in a South Gujarat village.
Petlikar, Ishwar; Bhavsaagar; 1951
The poignant story of an indifferent and cruel village society that can oppress women into making the supreme sacrifice.
Shah, Chunilal V.; Jigar ane Ami Vol. 1-2; 1943-44
The real life love story of an idealistic, non-compromising hero and his devoted wife.
Tripathi, Govardhanram; Saraswatichandra, Vol. 1-4; 1887-1901
Deep thinking about life and the extra-ordinary ability to give it artistic word-form exhibited here made a deep impression on the pre-Gandhi elite class.

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Khatri, Jayant; Khara Bapor; 1968
Stories painting vivid pictures of miseries and pressures of life.
Meghani, Jhaverchand; Saurashtrani Rasdhaar, Vol. 1-5; 1923-1928
Close to 100 stories of real-life heroism and chivalry. Colorful and fast-moving.
Meghani, Jhaverchand; Sorathi Bahaarwatiya; 1927-1929
Tales of the outlaws of Saurashtra that took to arms to fight against real and perceived injustice.
Patel, Pannalal; Sukhdukkhana Saathi; 1940
Author's first collection of short stories shows his deep understanding of human emotions.
'Sundaram'; Piyasi; 1940
The stories with sharp depiction of the characters belonging to different classes establish the poet as a master story-teller as well.

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Anjaria, Himatlal G., Ed.; Kaawya-Madhurya; 1903
A 'Golden Treasury' of turn of the century poetry.
Bhatt, Manishankar 'Kant'; Poorvalaap; 1926
Matchless creations depicting love between spouses, friends and people in general.
Botadkar, Damodar K.; Raastarangini; 1923
The poet has exhibited his deep understanding of the feminine heart through songs set in simple and popular folk-tunes.
Dave, Balmukund; Parikrama; 1955
A noteworthy collection of poetry.
Gohil, Sursinhji 'Kalaapi'; Kalaapino Kekarav; 1903
The complete works - 250 poems - written in the poet's short life-span of 26 years.
Kavi, Dalapatram; Dalapat-Kaavya Vol. 1-2; 1879
The medieval and modern Gujarati poetry meet here mixing God, propriety, religion with patriotism, social awareness and reform.
Kavi, Nhanalal; Nhana Nhana Raas Vol. 1-3; 1910-1937
The richness of the Gujarati language in all its splendor from the perspectives of movement, metaphor, wording and expressiveness.
Mehta, Chandrawadan; Ila-Kaawyo; 1933
Sentimental memories of a brother's affection for his sister portraying the innocence, dreams and simple outlook of adolescence.
Pandya, Navalram L.; Baal Garbavali; 1877
Poems covering a woman's life from the school years through motherhood aimed at promoting education among women.
Parekh, Prahlad; Baari Bahaar; 1940
Sweet, beautiful and sentimental poems from a poet known for his love of fragrance.
Shah, Rajendra; Aandolan; 1951
Noteworthy collection of 60 songs about eternal themes like love, nature and the Supreme.
'Sundaram'; Arwaachin Kawita; 1946
A critical review of the works of 250 poets since 1845.
'Sundaram'; Koya Bhagatni Kadwi Waani; 1933
New ideas and feelings presented in old hymns style.
Thakor, Balvantray K.; Bhanakar; 1918
As a link to the start of the Gandhi Era in Gujarati literature, the publication of this collection was of historical importance.

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Dave, Jyotindra; Jyotindra-Tarang; 1976
Author's own selection of articles from his fifteen or so books.
Dave, Jyotindra and Mehta, Dhansukhlal; Ame Badhan; 1936
A collaboration of two giants yielding a major and most enjoyable work of humor.
Neelkanth, Ramanbhai M.; Bhadranbhadra; 1900
The object of this humorous novel is the ridicule of the anti-reform elements in the society.
Patel, Dhirubahen; Gagan nan Lagan; 1984
Seemingly common character, condition and situation presented revealing their uncommon form.

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Acharya, Gunavantray; Allabeli; 1942
Mulu Manek's lead role is enhanced by the fast-moving dialogs of this three-act play.
Dalal, Jayanti; Jawanika; 1941
Twelve one-act plays that are distinguished by effective dialogues, colloquialism, variety of characters and the brilliance of their female characters.
Joshi, Umashankar; Saapna Bhaara; 1936
Eleven one-act plays with realism of village life coming through in colloquialism.
Kavi, Dalapatram; Mithyabhimaan; 1871
Among the earliest comedies, this play is a lively mix of elements of the Western stage, Sanskrit plays and native folk ("bhawai") setting.
Mehta, Chandrawadan; Aaggaadi; 1933
The tragedy painting a gloomy but realistic picture of poor railway-worker families.
Munshi, Kanaiyalal; Pouranik Natako; 1930
The themes of these four plays may be from the age of the scriptures, but the contemporary thinking is skillfully woven in.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Antim Adhyay; 1983
Three one-act plays depicting the triumph of man's will to survive over circumstance during the Nazi oppression of the Jews.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Jaliyanwala; 1934
The massacre by General Dyer at the Amritsar park provides the backdrop for this play that evokes feelings of defiance and self-sacrifice.
Pandya, Navalram L.; Bhatnun Bhopalun; 1867
Based on a French play by Molier, this work is considered to be the first stage-ready comedy.
Shridharani, Krushnalal; Wadlo; 1931
Combining elements of poetry, drama, music and dance, this play has been staged and acclaimed by audiences of all ages numerous times.

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Bhatt, Nanabhai; Ghadatar ane Chanatar; 1954
Autobiographical account that weaves in the development of the author's life-long passion, the Dakshinamurti Institute.
Bhatt, Vishwanath; Weer Narmad; 1933
A short but meaningful introduction to the Narmad-life full of love and bravery. An excellent example of a character study.
Dave, Narmadashankar L.; Maari Hakikat; 1933
An honest account of a life filled with struggle and self-respect from an able autobiographical predecessor to Mahatma Gandhi.
Desai, Mahadev; Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol. 1-17; 1948-1980
Started in 1917, the diaries, though not quite a biography, contain a wealth of raw material about the life, thought and deeds of Mahatma Gandhi.
Dwiwedi, Manilal N.; Aatmavruttant; 1979
Author's own struggle with a life made unbearable by disease, bad company and an unfulfilled relationship.
Gandhi, M. K.; Dakshin Africana Satyagrahno Itihaas; 1925
An interesting study of the formative years for the non-violent methodology. The characters, dialogs and the notes present the valuable lessons Gandhiji learned.
Gandhi, M.K.; Satyana Prayogo; 1927
The work that set the standard for autobiographies. Easily sits in the front row of similar accounts.
Meghani, Jhaverchand; Manasaina Deeva; 1945
Episodes based on the narrations by Ravishankar Maharaj of his experiences with outlaws-robbers of the Patanwadiya caste of Kheda region of Gujarat.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Maari Waachankatha; 1969
Author's account and acknowledgement of of self-development through companionship with superior books.
Patel, Ravjibhai M.; Gandhijini Saadhana; 1939
Definitive history of Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent struggle against the South African regime.
Patel, Ravjibhai M.; Jeewannan Jharana Vol. 1-2; 1941, 1960
An autobiographical account of the social and political atmosphere of Gujarat that also portrays the author in the roles of a patriot, loving father and social crusader.
Pathak, Jayant; Wanaanchal; 1967
Bitter-sweet memories of the innocent childhood thrills experienced in a rural surrounding.
'Sundari', Jayshankar; Thodan Aansoo, Thodan Phool; 1976
Autobiographical account of the hard work and the struggles that lead this actor to the top of the Gujarati Stage. Valuable historical insights.

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Brahmbhatt, Aniruddh; Naamroop; 1981
Sketches of episodes and people that experienced various levels of consciousness.
Chavda, Kishansinh; Amaasna Taara; 1953
Personalities, memories and autobiographical writing that can help build character.
Dagli, Vadilal; Thoda Nokha Jiv; 1985
Illustrated and inspiring character sketches of world figures.
Dhruva, Aanandshankar B.; Aapano Dharma; 1916
A major work addressing issues on Indian religion and philosophy.
Dwivedi, Manilal N.; Sudarshan Gadyavali; 1919
Called "the best collection of Gujarati essays", this major work covers all major subjects of interest to people of various tastes.
Gandhi, M.K.; Bapuna Patro, vols. 1-10; 1950-1966
These letters, introducing the Mahatma's convincing originality, unadorned simplicity and a transparent personality, are among the most notable in world literature.
Jani, Amrut; Abhinayne Panthe; 1912
Reminiscences of the golden age of the old stage are of documentary value.
Joshi, Suresh; Janaantike; 1965
Combining poetic, narrative and reflective styles, these light essays provide a new model for the Gujarati essay.
Joshi, Umashankar; Goshthi; 1951
A collection of touching essays written in a lively prose.
Kalelkar, Kakasaheb; Autarati Diwalo; 1925
The author's observations of the flora and fauna around the Sabarmati Jail during his incarceration.
Kalelkar, Kakasaheb; Jeewanleela; 1956
The Indian lakes, rivers and mountains described with intense love in a simple language and pulsating style.
Kalelkar, Kakasaheb; Jeewanno Aanand; 1936
The love of life is presented through essays on nature, astronomy and art.
Kalelkar, Kakasaheb; Jeewan-wyawastha; 1963
Essays on religion enriched by the author's study of Vedas, Upanishads, Geeta and Marathi devotional tradition but with a strong Gandhian influence.
Mehta, Digish; Doorna E Soor; 1970
Enjoyable and sensitive essays drawn from personal experiences and full of references to the literary world.
Pancholi, Manubhai 'Darshak'; Aapano Waraso Ane Waibhav; 1961
India's cultural history from pre-Vedic era through the middle ages.
Parekh, Hiralal T., et al, Ed.; Granth ane Granthkaar, Vol 1-11; 1930-36
These volumes provide a valuable introduction to the noteworthy books, their authors and the various currents that affected the flow of Gujarati literature.
Petlikar, Ishwar; Gramchitro; 1944
A critical but sympathetic look at various members of a village society such as a teacher, a barber, a tailor, a merchant, etc.
Shastri, Keshavram K.; Gujaratna Saraswato; 1977
Presentation of major Gujarati writers with references to their writings.
Thakar, Dhirubhai; Arwaacheen Gujarati Sahityani Wikaasrekha; 1956
A discriminating and authoritative history of the modern Gujarati literature in a simple style.
Vaidya, Vijayray K.; Gujarati Sahityani Rooprekha; 1943
A reference volume that traces the history of Gujarati Literature from its primitive stages to the beginning of the Gandhian era.

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