Why is it that the top Indian authors and the best selling or award winning titles are works of fiction, while the non-fiction category has been given a pass?
Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, as well as the 'Cheap' category writers like Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Dutta, Preeti Shenoy, and rest of the gang, exclusively write fiction.
When an average Indian thinks of 'books', he or she often associates it with novels or fiction.
There are of course writers like William Dalrymple, Patrick French, Ramachandra Guha, Gurcharan Das, but they seem to be a minority group.
Is is because writing non-fiction requires more effort, more research, more expertise? Or is it the market that demands more fiction rather than fact based writing?
In the Western world, University Professors and Popular Science writers publish a large number of non-fiction books, but the academics of India are mostly missing on the scene. There are exceptions of course, like Upinder Singh, Nayanjot Lahiri, and few IIM Professors, but none of them became popular.
I wonder why that is so?