Travel The World: 5 South Asian Writers

by | Aug 3, 2021

While the country is opening back up again, still so few of us are able to engage in international travel. As Jhumpa Lahiri emphasised, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” In honour of a true Hot Book Summer, we thought we’d bring some stories from far and wide to you… celebrating a rich array of female voices and empowering authors from around the world, starting with some of our favourite South Asian writers.

Arundhati Roy

Perhaps one of the most influential South Asian writers, Roy is an Indian author best known for her novel The God of Small Things, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997, and offers a telling account of caste, politics, and shares a semi-autobiographical retelling of growing up in Aymanam, a village in India. Roy is also an environmentalist and activist, speaking out about human right issues, and has won several world-renowned awards including the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004 and has been featured in Time 100, as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014.

Kamila Shamsie

Shamsie is a Pakistani and British writer, best known for her award-winning novel Home Fire, which won The Women’s Prize for fiction in 2018 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2017. She has also written a work of non-fiction: Offence: The Muslim Case.

Kamala Das

More known by her pen name Madhavikutty, Das (né Kamala Surayya) was an Indian poet, writing in English, as well as an author in Malyalam, writing in India. She has written several short stories, as well as an autobiography, My Story, which gained support and criticism for its  honest account speaking out about her experiences. Similarly, her empowering work focusing on female sexuality caused controversy, yet has played a part in her powerful legacy.

Rukhsana Ahmad

Ahmad is a Pakistani writer, playwright and translator, who has campaigned for Asian female writers, and became a member of the Asian Women Writers Collective in London in 1984. Ahmad has also founded the ‘South Asian Arts and Literature in the Diaspora Archive’ in the UK and has been nominated for several awards across the various genres she writes, including a nomination from the Commission for Racial Equality Award.

Sabaa Tahir

Tahir is a Pakistani and American young adult novelist, best known for her bestselling fantasy novel (and its sequels) An Ember in the Ashes. This novel, alongside A Torch Against the Night, have been listed in Time’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time in 2020.

Meghna Amin

Want to travel the world through books this summer?

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