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Top 10 South Asian books to read during lockdown

From Indian mysteries to Nepalese histories, we have the perfect selection

(All images from Amazon.com)

NEW DELHI -- Life during the pandemic does strange things to time -- sometimes the demands of balancing family and work seem to suck up all the hours in the day, while at other points time feels elastic, surprisingly fluid. Reading is a consolation, but many of us are reading differently in the corona age, reaching for books and subjects that we might not have explored fully before.

South Asia is rich territory for readers and, for this list, I gravitated toward more recent fiction by relatively new writers instead of the old, familiar classics, and toward unusual travelogues and histories. From a woman who explores Kabul on foot to the friendship between two boys in prewar Sri Lanka, from compact family sagas to a writer who travels around Nepal in search of democracy, these 10 books of fiction and nonfiction range far and wide.

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