Many women with South Asian backgrounds have struggled to have their voices heard. Here are ten successful South Asian female authors who have had the tenacity and courage to share their thoughts with the world.
Monica Ali (1967 – Bangladesh) has published four novels. Her first, the award-winning Brick Lane (2003) was signed after the publisher had read only five chapters.
Tahmina Anam (1975 – Bangladesh), novelist and columnist, is most well-known for her first novel, A Golden Age, set against the background of the Bangladesh Liberation War. The Good Muslim is her latest novel.
Anita Desai (1937 – British India) is a prolific novelist and educator and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times. She was one of the first to introduce the psychological novel to India. She also writes short stories and children’s books.
Arundhati Roy (1961 – Assam, India), novelist and political activist, is well-known for her novel, God of Small Things which won the Man Booker prize in 1997. She is an advocate for the protection of human rights and the environment.
Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (London) is a high profile columnist and writer and was named one of the UK’s most influential Muslim women by the Times of London. Her novel, Love in a Headscarf, is a memoir.
Meera Syal (1961 – Wolverhampton, England) is a comedian, actor, novelist, journalist and scriptwriter. She has written two novels, three screenplays and numerous works for radio and stage.
Jhumpa Lahiri (1967 – London) is an Indian American author who addresses the problems faced by Indian immigrants in her writing. She was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by Barack Obama and her work has been nominated for many awards.
Kiran Desai (1971 – New Delhi) published her first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, in 1998 winning the Betty Trask Award. Her second novel The Inheritance of Loss won the2006 Man Booker Prize.
Thrity Umrigar (Bombay) is a journalist, teacher and bestselling novelist. Her latest novel, The World We Found is an Oprah Magazine pick. Her books have been translated into many languages.
Bapsi Sidhwa (1938 – Kerachi, Pakistan) has written five novels and received many honours for her work. Her aim is to highlight the issues of Indian women and help to alleviate some of the misconceptions throughout the Western world.