Ashok Kumar Banker (born 7 February 1964 in Mumbai, India) is an author and screenwriter. His writing spans crime thrillers, essays, literary criticism, fiction and mythological retellings.
The author of several well-received novels including a trilogy billed as "India's first crime novels in English", he became widely known for his retellings of Indian mythological epics, starting with the internationally acclaimed and best-selling eight-volume Ramayana Series, which has been credited with the resurgence of mythology in Indian publishing.
The New York Times credited him with making mythology the most successful category in Indian publishing, describing his work as being "better written than many books in the genre that have followed – introduced the Ramayana to a new generation of readers." His books have sold over 2 million copies and have been published in 16 languages in 58 countries.
His Epic India Library is an attempt to retell all the myths, legends and Ithaca of the Indian sub-continent in one massive story cycle comprising over 70 volumes, "an epic library of India". He is frequently nominated and shortlisted as one of India's top thinkers and celebrities.
The upcoming two-film adaptation of his Mahabharata is expected to be the biggest Indian film production to date.