If you know me, you know I'd decided to spend all of last year discovering Indian authors, because I'd amazingly never got around to reading any. 2013 brought me some of my now favourite writers and books: Vikram Chandra, Amitav Ghosh, Anita Desai.
When it occurred to me just how unnecessarily judgmental and uninformed I was about South Asian fiction, I also saw many other avid readers who shared my prejudice. After more than a year of reading already popular authors like Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Jhumpa Lahiri to getting to know a whole bunch of promising new writers like Ismita Tandon Dhankher, I've realized I'd been missing out on the most wonderful reads all this while.
Inspired by 2014 being celebrated as the Year of Reading Women and building on the success of the #ReadWomen2014 campaign, SheReads South Asia will reach out to women readers, encouraging them to support, discover and engage with women writers and their works. For readers, this will be a platform to express their views, discover new books and engage with authors. For writers, this is a place to talk about their views, their craft and their books and to engage with their readers.
The She Reads South Asia initiative is a wonderful step in bringing South Asian women writers and readers closer. As a reader, I definitely want be a part of this and so should you! So what can you do?
- You can start by spreading the word on various social media. Like the She Reads South Asia Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter @SheReadsSA
- Bloggers: let your readers know about this initiative, encourage them to follow the conversations, join in the effort. Show off these pretty bookmarks on your page!
- Read and enjoy South Asian writers, because, after all, that's what this is all about!
Don't forget to subscribe to the She Reads South Asia newsletter for recommendations of must-read South Asian women writers.