rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » 20 good-looking South Asian writers

20 good-looking South Asian writers

Last updated on: October 13, 2011 17:01 IST

20 good-looking South Asian writers

     Next

Next

Their books have made us laugh, cry, fall in love and ponder about life. These are best-looking South Asian writers from across the world who have made our hearts skip a beat.

Fatima Bhutto

There is probably no way you' miss this Pakistani stunner in a crowd. Granddaughter of former PM Late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of the stunning Benazir Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto has written a collection of poems, Whispers of the Desert, which was followed by her second book, 8:50 a.m. 8 October 2005 and a memoir titled Songs of Blood and Sword.

Even as she supports her stepmother Ghinwa Bhutto's party the Pakistan Peoples Party (Shaheed Bhutto) she has so far refused to participate in active politics.

Not very long ago, Bhutto (she was 26 then) was also liked with Hollywood star George Clooney who is twice her age.


Image: Fatima Bhutto

     Next

Monica Ali

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

She may be a mother of two and well over 40 but the author, best known for her debut novel, Brick Lane, can surely pack a punch each time she steps on the stage.

Since her first book, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2003, Monica Ali has gone on to write three more books.

Ali, born to a Bangladeshi father and an English mother in Dhaka has lived most of her life in London. Brick Lane documents the life of the eponymous street that is the heart of Bangladeshi culture. The book was made into a film in 2007 starring veteran Bollywood actor Satish Kaushik and Tannishtha Chatterjee.


Image: Monica Ali

Prev     Next

Jhumpa Lahiri

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Born to Bengali immigrant parents in England, Jhumpa Lahiri moved to the US when she was all of three years old.

After initial disappointments, Lahiri's career as a writer took after her first collection of short stories -- Interpreter of Maladies won the Pulitzer in 2000.

Since then she has published one other collection of short stories and a novel, The Namesake that has been adapted into a movie of the same name starring Tabu, Irrfan Khan and Kal Penn.


Image: Jhumpa Lahiri

Prev     Next

Kamila Shamsie

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Before she became a writer, three generations of women before Kamila Shamsie had already been there and done that.

By the time she was 25, the Karachi-born Shamsie had already written her first novel -- The City By The Sea, which received the 1999 Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan.

The 30-something stunner has since then gone on to publish four other books and is a reviewer and columnist for The Guardian.

Last year, along with her mother Muneeza Shamsie, Kamila was at the Jaipur Literature Festival, making heads turn and a certain journalist weak in his knees.


Image: Kamila Shamsie

Prev     Next

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It's practically impossible to miss Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan in a roomful of people. The chirpy 20-something blogger and writer knows how to make her presence felt and does so effortlessly.

So far, Meenakshi has written two books -- one of them a semi-autobiographical attempt titled You Are Here and the other, Confessions of a Listmaniac that a reader calls a 'cute refreshing treat'.

When she isn't writing books, Meenakshi blogs under the pseudonym eM on The Compulsive Confessor.


Image: Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Prev     Next

Tahmima Anam

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The hot new sensation from Bangladesh after Taslima Nasreen, 35-year-old Tahmima Anam comes from a rich literary lineage.

Her father Mahfuz Anam edits and publishes The Daily Star (Bangladesh), the country's prominent English-language newspaper while her grandfather Abul Mansur Ahmed used to be a popular satirist and politician.

The Bangladesh Liberation War was the subject of Anam's first novel, A Golden Age for which she researched the War extensively and interviewed hundreds of soldiers.

Her second book The Good Muslim is a sequel to A Golden Age.

Although she was born in Dhaka, Tahmima Anam grew up in Paris, New York City and Bangkok largely due to her father's job at Unicef.

A trained anthropologist, Anam also has earned an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

After travelling the world, the author has made London her home and is contributing editor of New Statesman.


Image: Tahmima Anam

Prev     Next

Anjum Hasan

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The pretty Indian poet and novelist made a stunning debut as a novelist with Lunatic in my Head, a charming book set in the early 90s in a northeast Indian hill station.

Before this though Anjum Hasan's collection of poems Street on the Hill had already appeared a year ago.

Lunatic in my Head was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award the year it was published while her second novel titled Neti, Neti was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008.

Having moved from Shillong to Karnataka where she now lives, Anjum Hasan has since written short stories, poems and articles for various publications in India and abroad. She currently is the Books editor for The Caravan, India's first narrative journalism magazine.


Image: Anjum Hasan

Prev     Next

Manjushree Thapa

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Weeks before the February 2005 royal coup in Nepal, Manjushree Thapa's book Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy hit the bookstores. The book -- part memoir, part history and part reportage -- talked about what had gone wrong with her country.

Soon after, Thapa left Nepal to be able to write against the coup. The book itself was shortlisted for the Lettre Ulysses Award in 2006.

43-year-old Thapa has lived in at least three countries Nepal, Canada and the USA and has studied photography, the visual arts and creative writing.

Her first book Mustang Bhot in Fragments was written when she was all of 24 but it took Thapa another nine years before she could come out with her second -- The Tutor of History, which was part of her theses in the creative writing programme she'd signed up for.

Manjushree Thapa has so far written six books: Tutor of History, Tilled Earth and Seasons of Flight which are works of fiction and Mustang Bhot in Fragments, Forget Kathmandu and A Boy from Siklis which are works of non fiction.


Image: Manjushree Thapa

Prev     Next

Tishani Doshi

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Born to a Welsh mother and a Gujarati father, Tishani Doshi spent her formative years in Chennai before moving to London in 1999 where she worked in the advertising department at Harper's & Queen magazine.

After being disillusioned by the drab monotony of her job, Doshi travelled back to India where she was introduced to the legendary dance choreographer -- Chandralekha

By the time she was 26, she began her career as a dancer and performed with Chandralekha's troupe across the world.

Amidst all of this, she worked as a freelance journalist and experimented with creative writing.

Over the years, the 35-year-old poet-author-dancer has published a collection of poems Countries of the Body, which won the 2006 Forward prize for best first collection and a novel: The Pleasure Seekers.

She is also said to be working with cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan on his biography.

Here's a rediff interview with Tishani Doshi


Image: Tishani Doshi

Prev     Next

Mridula Koshy

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Mridula Koshy's collection of Short Stories If It Is Sweet won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Vodafone Crossword Book Award the same year.

The 43-year-old mother-of-three who lives and works in Delhi has dabbled in a lot of jobs including a cashier at KFC and a backstage dresser at fashion shows among others.

Koshy's stories have appeared in various publications including Wasafiri, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review and Existere among others.


Image: Mridula Koshy

Prev     Next

Ira Trivedi

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

When she participated in the 2005 Miss India pageant, Ira Trivedi knew she had landed a subject for her first novel -- What would you do to save the world?

Since then Trivedi has written two other bestselling works -- The Great Indian Love Story and There is No Love on Wall Street, the latter being launched by author Junot Diaz at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

When she isn't writing, Ira Trivedi teaches yoga at Sivananda yoga centres across the country.


Image: Ira Trivedi

Prev     Next

Amrita Tripathi

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

For those of us who don't look at the jacket cover for the author bio, journalist Amrita Tripathi may be the most recognisable face in this list.

That's because Tripathi has been an anchor at CNN-IBN and works as the news channel's Health and Books Editor.

In her debut novel Broken News, Amrita Tripathi talks about the glamorous world of television news and the dark realities behind it.


Image: Amrita Tripathi

Prev     Next

Meena Kandasamy

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

At 25, Meena Kandasamy became the yongest person to represent India as a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 2009.

Kandasamy who is a poet, writer and translator writes extensively on themes of caste annihilation and identity among others.

She has so far published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms Militancy and is a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at the School of English, University of Kent.

Feminist themes also feature prominently in her works as do themes of linguistic identity.

Besides writing articles and essays in various newspapers and publications, Kandasamy has also translated the writings and speeches of Dalit leader Thol Thirumavalavan and Dravidian ideologue Periyar EVR.

She has also completed her theses in socio-linguistics and is working on her first novel.


Image: Meena Kandasamy

Prev     Next

Pallavi Aiyar

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Reporting for the Hindu and the Indian Express, Pallavi Aiyar has lived and extensively travelled in China.

Her experiences there have resulted in two books -- Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China a collection of her dispatches which won her the 2007 Prem Bhatia Memorial Award for excellence in political reporting and analysis and was also the winner of the Vodafone Crossword Readers Choice Award 2008.

Aiyar's second book Chinese Whiskers is a novel -- a charming fable set in modern day Beijing and told by two cats: Soyabean and Tofu.

Pallavi Aiyar has now moved to Brussels where she lives with her husband and son and, you guessed it, two Chinese cats!


Image: Pallavi Aiyar

Prev     Next

Nitasha Kaul

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Having lived in England, Bhutan and India among other countries, Nitasha Kaul shot into the limelight after her debut novel Residue was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009.

Quite like the protagonists of Residue, Kaul comes from Kashmir but grown up in Delhi. She's completed her doctorate in Economics and Philosophy and has taught economics in the UK, a post she gave up to travel the world.

Since then Nitasha Kaul has spent her time shooting pictures of streets in the 50-odd countries she's travelled in and writing articles on themes of Kashmir, democracy and economy among others.


Image: Nitasha Kaul

Prev     Next

Shailja Patel

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Best known for her spoken-word theatre show Migritude, Shailja Patel wears many hats. Besides being a theatre artiste, she is also a poet and playwright.

Having been born to Gujarati parents in Kenya where she also spent her formative years Patel spent her childhood years in Nairobi.  She then went to England to study before finally moving to the US.

Her uprooting and immigrant background is reflected in her works as she explores themes of migration and colonialism among others.

Patel's poetry collections include Dreaming in Gujarati and Shilling Love.


Image: Shailja Patel
Photographs: Wambui Mwangi
Prev     Next

Namita Devidayal

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Best known for her memoir The Music Room, Namita Devidayal is also a committed mother and an accomplished singer with a voice to kill for.

The Music Room won the 2008 Vodafone Crossword Popular Book Award and was also named as the Outlook Book of 2007.

The Mumbai-based author works with The Times of India and has since written another novel -- the recent bestseller -- Aftertaste.


Image: Namita Devidayal

Prev     Next

Jabeen Akhtar

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Jabeen Akhtar is the hot new sensation writing about the Pakistani community in the US.

In her debut novel Welcome to Americastan, Akhtar presents a quirky but poignant picture of her community and the dichotomy that the second and third generation Pakistani-Americans face.

Akhtar was born in London but has been living in the US since she was three and has been a speaker with the State Department's prestigious Citizen Dialogue programme that sends Pakistani-Americans abroad to speak about life in the United States.

The author lives in Washington DC and has already started work on her second novel.


Image: Jabeen Akhtar

Prev     Next

Sonia Faleiro

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Author and journalist, Sonia Faleiro was born and raised in the beach state of Goa. After a stint in Edinburgh, where she studied, Faleiro returned to Delhi where her father Eduardo Faleiro, a former minister was based.

At the first opportunity, Faleiro came to Mumbai where she worked as a journalist.

In 2006, she published her first work of fiction called The Girl and has since contributed short stories to many anthologies.

Her latest book Beautiful Thing that got her much acclaim and attention is her first work of non-fiction that is an outcome of extensive research in the lives of bar dancers.

Sonia Faleiro now lives in San Francisco.


Image: Sonia Faleiro

Prev     Next

Sikeena Karmali

Prev     More
Prev

More

Born in Nairobi to Gujarati parents, Sikeena Karmali has been educated in four counties -- Canada, the US, Italy and Egypt.

Being actively involved in human rights work, Karmali has written extensively on themes of identity.

Karmali's first novel, A House by the Sea is about the search for home and an attempt to bridge the chasm between the traditional and the modern.


Image: Sikeena Karmali

Prev     More