- to help desi writers find their readers because traditional, mainstream media chases a few at the expense of many;
- to celebrate the plenitude and diversity of South Asian literature through conversation and community.
Disclaimer: Desi Books is, currently, a bootstrap venture and cannot possibly cover all genres and all books by writers of South Asian origin. If you’d like to offer practical help or support, please contact here.
Desi Books was founded in April 2020 by Jenny Bhatt as a modest pandemic-driven podcast with different audio channels about books and writers of South Asian origin from the world over. Over time, new text and audio channels have been added and are aired or published weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Video channels are in the works. We’ll be introducing new initiatives carefully, while ensuring we can scale them up properly. For more context about the whys and wherefores, listen to or read this collaborative podcast with Jenn Baker of Minorities in Publishing.
Read the latest press kit and coverage. Catch up with listener and reader testimonials. See all the featured authors (not including those in the #DesiBooksReco channel.) Pitch a book feature for one of the channels below, a collaboration project, or press coverage via the contact page. Sign up for the weekly, free newsletter. If you have a general question about writing, translating, the book biz, the literary life, etc., please enter it here and it might get featured in the #DesiLitBiz series.
DESI (NOUN; PRONOUNCED ‘DAY-SI’ OR ‘DÉSI’)
This applies to a person of South Asian descent who lives anywhere in the world. The official definition of South Asia contains the following countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and the Maldives. And, of course, their globally-scattered diaspora. The word is also often used as a qualifying adjective or adverb: “desi writer” or “desi cooking.”
For more about the etymology of the word “desi”, please listen to or read episode 2.
A Few Other Ongoing or On Hiatus Channels:
#DesiKidLit: A quarterly-ish overview of new and notable desi (South Asian) books from the kidlit (PB, MG, YA, etc.) genre. Presented by Dr. Gayatri Sethi.
#DesiBooksGiveaway: This is currently on hiatus. In collaboration with the writer, we will give away ONE copy of a recent book via social media. The typical duration for the giveaway will be ONE MONTH from the episode airing, which will include an author Q&A and a brief excerpt reading.
#DesiBoost: This is now a newsletter feature. It used to be a 10-15 minutes audio segment where a writer, poet, or translator shared their three favorite reads (short stories, poems, essays, interviews, etc.) by desi writers.
DISCLOSURE NOTE: Desi Books is a Bookshop.org and Amazon.com affiliate. There is a tiny commission payable if you buy a book using the link provided. This helps pay a small fraction toward the cost of running Desi Books. Thank you.
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