If you’ve hung around literature grads, even briefly, and tossed “women’s writing” into the conversation, you’re bound to have heard many energetic and conflicting opinions. Is there a need for a separate category? Do women write differently from men? Are women naturally predisposed to fiction? What is a “woman”? What is writing? So on and so forth. But one thing everyone seems to agree on is that writing by women still constitutes a teensy minority of all the literature we read and have read. And the literature we are yet to read? Well, that’s where we want to make things interesting.
There is a whole host of women writers out here in India that we need to be paying attention to. They’re exploring some thoroughly fascinating themes and styles, and we daresay their work will fit in nice and cosy on your bedside bookshelf. So, let’s get down to business, and have a look at all these kickass women writers you should be reading in 2018!
Sujata Massey is an award-winning and highly acclaimed mystery writer. Her upcoming book is a murder mystery titled “Murder on Malabar Hill”, a tale of how women fight for women’s rights, at the centre of which is the feisty detective Perveen Mistry.
Lathika George is the bestselling author of “The Suriani Kitchen”. In her upcoming book, “Mother Earth, Sister Seed”, she looks at how human society has divorced itself from the earth, from traditional farming, and food practices of yore. The book unfolds through local folklore, celebrations and rituals, taking us back to the simpler days.
A senior lecturer at the department of Asian studies, University of Haifa, Shani’s new book, “How India Became Democratic”, uncovers the complex history of voting in India, and what this meant for the country’s diverse population.
This professor of South Asian Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, has penned the biography “Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan”. All but lost to history, the story of the 17th-century Mughal figure comes alive in this non-fiction book.
Having made her mark in Kerala’s literary scene with her first two novels, Malayalam and English language novelist and scriptwriter Sangeetha Srinivasan presents, “Acid”. Winner of the Thoppil Ravi Literary Award in February 2017, it follows the story of Kamala and Shali, two women in love with each other, and their trials and tribulations.
Three-time novelist and poem, Anjum Hasan will revive the art of short-story writing for you, as well as charm you with her poetry. You definitely want this versatile writer’s works on your list!
Author of the DSC Prize–longlisted “This Wide Night”, Hasin will take you on an intense ride with the Malik family, who start off in 1970s Karachi, before moving halfway across the world to London.
Former vice-president of the Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union, and a long-time activist, Rashid was at the forefront of the college protests that broke out in February 2016, garnering solidarity across the world. Her upcoming book, ‘I, Student”, tells it all from her perspective.
Gurmehar Kaur is an Indian student activist and the ambassador for Postcards for Peace. She bravely stood up to bullies online who trolled online for her views on India-Pakistan solidarity. In October 2017, she was listed by Time magazine as a global ‘Next Generation Leader’. And now, her debut book is slotted for release in Jan 2018!
Richa Kaul Padte creates digital resources on culture and sexuality, and is the editor of Deep Dives. Her book, “Cyber Sexy” – new perspectives on pornography, and sexually explicit media – is definitely something to pick up in the coming year!
A former radio jockey from Pakistan, Akbar now lives in and writes in Colombia. Her first ever book, “Goodbye Freddie Mercury”, looks at her country’s relationship with politics, youth and sexuality, and it promises to be a stimulating read.
Nobody can say there’s a dearth of engaging women writers with unputdownable books – this means no more excuses when it comes to exploring women’s work! So with 2018 practically on our doorstep, let’s shift around our bookshelves to welcome these and other amazing new books.