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top 10 nepali novel books

Introduction

Nepali literature is one of the most treasured among the different countries of South Asia. It has a distinct flavor, is full of pathos, and captures the cultural ethos of Nepal. There is a plethora of Nepali novels written in varied styles and genres, which appeal to readers across the world. In this article, we present a list of the 10 best Nepali novels to read.

“Palpasa Cafe” by Narayan Wagle
“Seto Dharti” by Amar Neupane
“Jhola” by Krishna Dharabasi
“Shatabarsya” by Dhruba Chandra Gautam
“Muna Madan” by Laxmi Prasad Devkota
“Birano Mayale” by Durga Lal Shrestha
“Bhairab” by Manjushree Thapa
“The City Son” by Rabi Thapa
“The Royal Ghosts” by Samrat Upadhyay
“The Englishman” by Abhi Subedi
These novels cover a wide range of genres and topics, including fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, and are considered some of the best works of literature in the Nepali language.

Anmol by Laxmi Prasad Devkota

One of the most celebrated poets of Nepal and the first to receive the title of ‘Mahakavi’, Laxmi Prasad Devkota, wrote Anmol in 1964. Anmol is a surrealist tale that is set in the village of Yambu. It portrays the Protagonist, Dhukpa’s transformation from innocence to consciousness.

Seto Dharti by Amar Neupane

Seto Dharti is a novel written by Amar Neupane, published in 1999. The story revolves around life in a secluded Gurung village in the foothills of the Himalayas. The novel follows protagonist, Jeevan, who is a young man living in a remote village and struggling in his pursuit of freedom and a life of his own.

Parijat by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala

Parijat, by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala is considered one of the most iconic novels in Nepali literature. It narrates the story of three generations of a family living in the settlement of Chitlang, near Kathmandu, and the issues faced by them. The novel explores the themes of love, loss and despair.

Chandrakanta by Kalidas Bhakta

A novel by Kalidas Bhakta, Chandrakanta, was first published in 1991. Set in mid-19th century, the novel revolves around the story of an adopted son who gets embroiled in a curse that pins him against an antagonist, unfolds layers of secrets and tells a tale of love triumphing before it all.

Banyalla by Amar Simkhada

Amar Simkhada’s Banyalla is a story of an ordinary village bird which is set in the social context of Nepal. It follows a flock of 14 birds all having their individual journeys and learning meaningful lessons in life, and finally reuniting.

Chhaderko Choli by Bal Kumar Rai

Chhaderko Choli is a Nepali novel written by Bal Kumar Rai in 1995. It is a haunting story of human emotions and sentiments during Nepal’s 1910 revolution. The story is narrated through the character of Chhaderko Choli, a beautiful but poor girl.

Jhelakoiri by Balab Giri

Jhelakoiri is a novel by Balab Giri published in 1968. Infused with drama and romance, the story follows the life of protagonist Uddab Singh Gurung, who migrates to Darjeeling for a back-breaking job in a tea-plantation. The novel reflects the struggles of the face of the Nepali working-class from the 1960s to the present day.

Under the Mountain King by Kedar Shrestha

Under The Mountain King, a novel by Kedar Shrestha published in 1977. It tells the story of a family of four who run away from their village to escape a cruel landlord. This novel addresses Nepal’s feudalistic bond servitude system and the generations of oppression and injustice it caused.

Pathik by Ananta Acharya

Pathik, a novel written by Ananta Acharya was an award-winning story of 1993. It portrays the landscape of Nepal’s remote hilly terrain, and examines the role of religion, culture and human attitude towards life. Pathik follows the story of a school teacher journeying from Kathmandu to the mountains.

Tripureshwor by Prem Prasad Bikram

Prem Prasad Bikram’s novel, Tripureshwor, was published in 1992. The novel follows the exploits of Thiyet, a rich but disillusioned peasant attempting to find justice in a feudal society. It creates an allegory of the struggles between money and morality, while providing a rich backdrop of Nepal’s religious, cultural and geographical landscapes.

Conclusion

Nepali literature has produced some of the most vibrant and evocative works in South Asian literature. The novels featured in this list are profoundly moving works of art, which explore human emotions and sentiments, Nepal’s cultural and religious heritage, and the changes over the decades. This list provides a small peek into the wealth of Nepali literature available today.

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