Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the past. Authentic historical novels portray the details of the time period as accurately as possible, including social norms, manners, customs, and traditions. Common characteristics of this writing genre are the inclusion of historical events or historical people, invented scenes and dialogue, as well as true and plausible details. There are seven crucial elements in this genre: character, dialogue, setting, theme, plot, conflict, and world building. The characters could be based off of real or imaginary individuals.
If you want a break from the present and are looking for a book to transform you to a different era, here are a few great historical fiction novels that you shouldn’t miss!
- The Stationary Shop of Tehran-
If you’re a fan of historical romantic novels, this book is perfect for you. It follows the lives of two youngsters, Roya and Bahman, and their nascent love blossoming in a Persian stationary shop. This book by Marjan Kamali is an eclectic mix of initial infatuation, first eye lock, the first touch, first love, betrayal, reunion and closure.
- Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore-
This book by Sachin Garg is set in the difficult times just after India Pakistan partition in 1947. This is a story of Havildar Ghulam Ali Limb-Fitter, who was stuck in a Hindu refugee camp in Lahore. His wife waits for him in Lucknow, India. India wouldn’t accept him because he had served in the Pakistani army. This book is a heart-aching story of him trying to find a place in his motherland, India. This book comprises of several letters written by him to his wife Zahira, ministers, bureaucrats and other officials, begging them to help him return to his life in India. If you want to read about the real-life hardships faced by innocent people, as an aftermath of the partition, this book is truly a must read.
- The Kite Runner-
The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. It is a beautifully crafted novel set in Afghanistan, a country that is on the verge of being ruined. It is an unforgettable, heart-breaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. It is a one-of-a-kind classic.
- Train To Pakistan
This novel by Khushwant Singh is another historical fiction novel based on the repercussions of India Pakistan partition in 1947. This book is narrated from the perspective of Mano Majra, an idyllic fictional border resorted to love and harmony even at the face of all odds till external forces come and disrupted all the harmony. This village has Muslim and Sikh population that suddenly becomes a part of the border between Indian and Pakistan. Published in 1956, this book captures the essential human trauma and suffering in the face of such a terror and crisis. Train to Pakistan is an ideal novel for those who wishes to learn more about India’s past and is looking for more than the socio-political scenario behind the partition.