We will write our story - South Asian Women Authors

Australian South Asian Centre

Event Date: 
22 July 2021
Author / Presenters: 
Daizy Maan (Founder of Australian South Asian Centre)

Literature and books form part of our culture and history. In Australia for instance only 5 memoirs have been written by Indian women, despite there being around 350 000 Indian Australian women. There is not a single publishing house led by a woman of colour in Australia and few publishing houses in India are led by women. When the gatekeepers of this industry lack diversity, you end up with literature that is homogenous. Growing up when we thought of inspiring authors, women or fictional characters, we’d often think of Emily Bronte, Sylvia Plath, JK Rowling, Hermione Granger, or Elizabeth Bennet. Mainstream literature has lacked strong South Asian female characters and authors to reflect our lived experience or relatable characters which help us feel a sense of belonging. While the industry is more welcoming towards diverse content, most of the stories that reach the mainstream are still written by the majority, straight white people and predominately by men, especially in categories such as memoir

We need inspiring authors and characters who reflect our lived experience, this would greatly increase readership and reflect our history in the way that it unfolded.

Join us for our event ‘We will write our own stories – South Asian Woman Authors’ on the 22nd of July at 7:00pm AEST. We’ll be speaking with three female South Asian authors and writers who put pen to paper to ensure that South Asian women are seen, heard and valued.

Sushi Das (chief of staff at RMIT ABC Fact Check and author of Deranged Marriage), Balli Kaur Jaswal (author of iSingapore Literature Prize finalist Sugarbread, and the international bestseller Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - featured in Reese Witherspoon's book club) and Alicia Vrajlal (Culture Editor at Refinery29 Australia and former Editor at HuffPost Australia).

During this event we’ll unpack their experiences as authors and writers in Australia. How have they navigated the industry as women of colour? Do they feel as though their voice is valued? What advice would them give to emerging writers? Join us to hear the answers to these questions and more!