A UNIQUE new book has brought together 20 emerging writers from across South Asia to shine a light on their diverse societies.
In over 35,000 words and two dozen images these contributors paint graphic images of love, beauty, loss, poverty, patriarchy, disease and murder in their respective countries of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
From Kabul in the north, through Lahore and Delhi, to Hyderabad in the south, their tales in poetry and prose are compelling.
The writers include a Muslim teacher and mum from Karachi, a 26-year-old refugee from Kabul, an electronic engineer from Mumbai, a psychologist from Delhi, a social reformer from Jaipur, two 12th grade school students, plus many more.
The project has been pulled together by a retired British newspaper editor.
Most of the writers have, until now, only seen their work published on social media or in short order paperbacks.
Now, ASIAN VOICES is providing a professionally produced anthology of their work, for worldwide publication in February 2019.
This “family” of contributors live and work up to 6,000 miles apart, across six time zones, and their writings display the diversity of their home cities and cultures to form the unique nature of the book.
The works include letters of longing, narrative poems about grief, essays on abuse, patriarchy, rape and murder, a story about cancer and bereavement as well as countless poems of love, loss, discovery, anger, lust, peace and war.
“As individuals we are all so very different; different cultures, ages, nationalities and genders, but as writers we have been able to form an incredible bond that reflects the many ways that, as humans we have common needs, hopes, dreams and hearts,” says Fahmida Shaikh, an oceanographer from Bhiwandi.
Sakshi Walia, an English Literature student from Amity University in New Delhi says: “Together, I believe our words are shining a blinding light on the reality of being human, in a world of seeming chaos.”
Fellow English Lit student Anjali Kumari at Delhi University, added: “Everything, whether living or dead has a story to tell, everyone is a muse to someone.”
Retired newspaper and magazine editor Nic Outterside from Wolverhampton, England is the editor and publisher of ASIAN VOICES.
“I have edited many publications over the years,” says Nic, “But none has been as challenging and exciting as this.
“I am so lucky to have so many amazingly talented and beautiful people contributing to this hugely diverse project.
“Their writing alone is breath-taking, but it doesn’t stop there… they are all brimming with ideas about the book. Their excitement is palpable and their talent immense.”
Stay tuned for more news about ASIAN VOICES in the run-up to publication in both paperback and on Kindle in the week ending 17 February 2019.