Indian romance writers talk about their favourite love stories

India’s first Mills & Boon author Milan Vohra’s favourite romances are the ones which aren’t conventional love stories and have imperfect characters, just like in real-life. Talking about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah’ being her favourite romance novel, Milan said, “It doesn’t qualify as a ‘romance romance’ but the romance between Ifemelu and Obinze runs through the book, from the time they were high school sweethearts. I like it because it’s set in reality, it tells a bigger story of their lives’ journeys – from their initial years together in Nigeria, to Ifemelu immigrating to America, her discovery of racism, and an understanding of what it means to be black, Obinze’s dangerous, undocumented life in London. It’s an unusual story of self-discovery, of identity, love for their country and all of it becomes integral to a realisation of their love for each other after 15 years.” “

Her second favourite love story is Graeme Simsion’s ‘The Rosie Project’. “This is a great book that built really unusual, imperfect characters and fantastically combines humour with romance. It’s unusual to find male writers who do romance which isn’t overly syrupy/ sentimental or in the sick-lit category – which also often falls into the overly sentimental zone. ‘The Rosie Project’ made me laugh out loud too many times to count. Don Tillman the male protagonist is like Sheldon Cooper taken to totally new heights. The secondary characters too though sometimes far-fetched, stay true to character once you accept their inherent kinkiness,” she said.

(Book covers: Fourth Estate;Penguin UK)

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