To celebrate our upcoming release of Indu Balachandran’s novel The Writers’ Retreat, we at Jacaranda Books are highlighting 10 female authors with British-Asian backgrounds and heritages, all of whom are writers to watch out for over the coming months, and into next year:
Zainab Akhtar – @comicsandcola
Zainab’s work centres on the culture of comics, and the elements of its deconstruction. She has been nominated for the Eisner award, and is currently working on a guide to comics.
Bidisha – @Bidisha_online
Bidisha is a journalist, writer, TV and radio presenter, who specialises in social justice, human rights and the arts. She has written novels including Seahorses and Too Fast To Live, as well as Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices and Beyond the Wall, books which focus on her work in journalism. She is currently working on a debut poetry book, as well as a short story collection.
Sita Brahmachari – @SitaBrahmachari
Sita’s career focuses on writing novels, plays and short stories. After winning The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her debut novel Artichoke Hearts, her books have gone on to be longlisted for The Carnegie Prize and the UKLA Book Award. Her next release is Tender Earth, due to be published in Summer 2017.
Xiaolu Guo – @XiaoluGuo
Xiaolu is a writer, filmmaker and academic, who has written notable novels including A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, Lovers in the Age of Indifference and I Am China (longlisted for the Baileys Women’ Prize for Fiction.) Her most recent release is called Once Upon a Time in the East, published by Penguin Random House this year.
Ayisha Malik – @Ayisha_Malik
Part-time Managing Editor Ayisha Malik is also a novelist, having completed an MA in Creative Writing. Her debut title Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was critically acclaimed, leading her to write the sequel The Other Side of Happiness. Currently taking a break from writing her own novels, she serves as a ghostwriter for Nadiya Hussain, Great British Bake Off winner 2015.
Ameli Rodrigo – @arodrigo
As well as a poet, Ameli is also an Associate Lecturer and PhD candidate at Lancaster University. Her standout work is her collection of poems, Lotus Gatherers, which draws heavily from her Sri Lankan heritage, using translated medieval graffiti song-poems.
Seni Seneviratne – @SeniSeneviratne
Seni is a performer, writer and creative artist who has performed in the UK, Canada, the US, South Africa, Egypt and Kuwait. Her poetry collections Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin and The Heart of It both contain poems highly commended by the Forward Poetry Prize and the Arvon International Poetry Competition. Seni is currently working on Unknown Soldiers, a book based on the World War II experiences of her father.
Priya Sharma – priyasharmafiction.wordpress.com
Horror and Fantasy are the genres which consume Priya’s writing. Her work has been published in numerous horror compilations, and her short story ‘Fabulous Beasts’ won the 2016 British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. A short collection of Priya’s fantasy fiction will be published in 2018.
Sunny Singh – @sunnysingh_n6
Sunny has lived and worked in countries around the world including Mexico, South Africa, Chile, Spain and UK. She has published three novels and a book of non-fiction on single women in India. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines including Ellery Queen, World Literature Today and The Drawbridge, and her creative non-fiction and academic writing has been published across the world in key journals and anthologies.
Shagufta S Tania
Author Shagufta has written both fiction and non-fiction texts, having previously been an architect and designer. She has also worked on translating books from English to Bengali, bringing books like Susan Fletcher’s Eve Green to a wider audience. She is currently writing both a historical novel set during the failed Bengal Partition of 1905, and adult fairytales based on old Bengali stories.
And here are two bonus Asian women writers who we think deserve a mention: Jacaranda authors Radhika Jha and Indu Balachandran!
Radhika has worked for the Hindustan Times and BusinessWorld, regularly contributes to anthologies and has her stories published in newspapers and magazines. Her published works include short story collection The Elephant and the Maruti and novel Smell. She has just moved to Beijing after living for six years in Tokyo with her husband and two children.
Indu had a thirty-year-long career in advertising, before making the switch to being an author. Her best-selling first book Don’t Go Away, We’ll Be Right Back—The Oops and Downs of Advertising was on the Crossword and Odyssey best-selling list, and is being followed by The Writers’ Retreat – released in July. Buy here on Amazon, Wordery, The Book Depository, or on Books Etc.