With more than 20 publications to his credit, Pavan K. Varma is an established name as a writer of depth and insight. His writings span various genres and each has outrun the success of the other.

  • Ghalib: The Man, The Times (Viking/Penguin 1989), his first book was the highly successful and critically applauded biography of the Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib. This book won its Urdu translator the Sahitya Akademi Award for Translators and has now been translated and published by the Akademi into 12 Indian languages;
  • Havelis of Old Delhi, a much-discussed volume was launched by Span Tech, London, 1992 & Bookwise, India, 1999;
  • Krishna: The Playful Divine (Viking/Penguin 1993) became a best-seller on India’s most popular deity;
  • Yudhishtar and Draupadi (Viking/Penguin 1996), an epic poem on two of the central characters of the Mahabharata, still forms the backbone of several dramatic and philosophical productions. The noted poet Gulzar has now translated the book into Hindustani, and Penguin is to publish the original and the translation as a combined volume in August, 2012.
  • The Great Indian Middle Class (Viking/Penguin 1998), was Pavan K. Varma’s first path-breaking book on a contemporary subject. Later translated into several Indian and foreign languages, the book was an instant bestseller, and remains the focus of discussion and debate even today. As a sequel to this, he, in association with journalist Renuka Khandekar, wrote Maximize Your Life: An Action Plan for the Indian Middle Class (Viking 2000).
  • Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will Be India’s (Viking/Penguin), an astoundingly successful book followed in 2004. This was described by The Economist as “one of the most subtle recent attempts to analyse the continent-sized mosaic of India and simplify it for the general reader.” It was soon published by William Heinemann, in the United Kingdom, as Being Indian: Inside the Real India in March 2005. The Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian translations of this book were very well-received. Being Indian has also had extremely successful runs in its Bengali, Hindi and Urdu editions.
  • Love and Lust: An Anthology of Erotic Literature from Ancient and Medieval India (HarperCollins) co-edited with Sandhya Mulchandani was released in 2004.
  • Kama Sutra: The Art of Making Love to a Woman, his witty adaptation of Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra, was published in 2007 with Roli Books. This has been translated into French and German.
  • The Book of Krishna, a pocket book adapted from the very successful Krishna: The Playful Divine, was reissued by Penguin in 2008.
  • Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity (Penguin-Allen Lane), his latest book of non-fiction, was launched in February 2010. It deals with the pivotal issues of culture and identity for postcolonial societies, particularly in an age of aggressive globalization where co-option is the sub-text in the field of culture and takes forward his signature analysis from the issue of “Being Indian” to “Becoming Indian”. Its Hindi and French translations have already been published.
  • Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis of India (Aleph-Rupa), 2013. This has also been published by Rajkamal in Hindi titled Chanakya ka Naya Ghoshna Patra.
  • The New Indian Middle Class: The Challenge of 2014 and Beyond. (Harper-Collins), 2014