Select Page

Travel The World: 5 South Asian Writers

Aug 3, 2021 | Listicle

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.

Written by Meghna Amin

Books That Matter is the award-winning subscription box empowering women, powered by women. We platform marginalised voices by curating unique and inspiring reading experiences. We’re here to change the world, and introduce you to your favourite book, of course…

More from the blog…

Non Fiction Reads to Break the Book Bias Non Fiction Reads to Break the Book Bias 

Time to take inventory of your bookshelf! To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), Books That Matter is inviting you to #BreakTheBookBias with us by supporting women and People of Colour (POC) writers. Due to gender biases in the publishing industry, women...

read more
Author Spotlight: Imbolo Mbue Author Spotlight: Imbolo Mbue

If you’re as obsessed with your October ‘Earth is my Sister’ book box as we are, you’ll probably want to find out more about the author behind our featured book, How Beautiful We Were. As we do every month, here are some facts about the incredible Imbolo Mbue. Imbolo...

read more
The Earth is Not My Mother The Earth is Not My Mother

The phrase “Mother Nature” has never sat comfortably. Mainly because equating nature with motherhood sets an expectation that it is nature’s job to look after us, and that we have no active role to play in looking after nature in return. This association between...

read more