Kishwar Desai is an Indian author and columnist.She is a Trustee with the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, in which she helped to set up the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Westminster Square in London.
As a novelist, her last novel The Sea of Innocence was published in 2014 in India as well as in UK and Australia, and was widely discussed as it dealt with the difficult issue of gang rape . Her award-winning novel Witness the Night, which was the first in the Simran Singh series, dealt with female foeticide. It won the Costa Book Award in 2010 for Best First Novel and has been translated into over 25 languages. The judges of the Costa Award (Anita Rani, Anneka Rice and Mark Thornton) said “Kishwar Desai pulls off a remarkable trick, transplanting a country-house murder to modern-day India in a book that's not afraid to tackle serious themes.” In Origins of Love, Desai took a close look at surrogacy and adoption. Desai has also written a play, Manto!, based on the life of the famous Urdu writer, Saadat Hasan Manto, which won the TAG Omega Award for Best Play in 1999.
Desai is now working on taking the Partition Museum forward and on a new book on Indian cinema.
Dr. Bijayalaxmi Nanda, is currently serving as the Acting Principal of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She specialises in political theory, human rights and gender studies. Her publications include Sex Selective Abortion and the State: Policies, Laws and Institutions in India (Shakti Books: An imprint of Haranand Publishers), Discourse on Rights in India: Debates and Dilemmas, (Routledge), Human Rights Gender & Environment (Allied Publishers) and Understanding Social Inequality: Concerns of Human Rights, Gender and Environment (Macmillan).
She is involved in feminist research and activism. She has provided consultancy services to UN agencies like UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, etc. She is a recipient of the ICSSR Doctoral Fellowship. She was awarded the Teacher’s Excellence Award by University of Delhi in 2017. Sex-Selective Abortion and the State: Policies, laws and Institutions in India is an incisive analysis of the countering of gender discrimination by the Indian State.
The book critically examines the policies, programmes, laws and schemes that have been unfurled by the state to improve the situation. It contextualises the debate, developments and disagreements that exist in the field by using a feminist theoretical lens. Her co-edited publication Discourse on Rights in India, Debates and Dilemmas is a compelling examination of the theoretical discourse on rights and its relationship with ideas, institutions and practices in the Indian context. By engaging with the crucial categories of class, caste, gender, region and religion, it draws attention to the contradictions and contestations in the arena of rights and entitlements.
Neelam Saxena Chandra is an Indian poet and author. She is an IES Officer of 1992 batch, also served as Joint Secretary of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).Chandra has authored 4 novels, 1 novella and 5 short story collections, 25 poetry collections and 10 children’s books to her credit. She has received several awards including the "Rabindranath Tagore International Award" in 2014, given by Xpress Publications: Kerala, India. In addition to the Tagore Prize, she was awarded a prize by the poet Gulzar in a poetry contest organized by the Consulate General of the United States, Mumbai, on the topic Poetry for Social Change'. The song Mere Sajan Sun Sun, for which she was the lyricist (Shankar Tucker's composition) won the 'Popular Choice Award' in Folk Fusion category in Radio City Freedom Awards.
Her recent publications in poems and ghazals include Can I Have This Chance (2014)
Soul Seekers (2013)
Rishtey Mohabbat Ke (2013)
Layers of Flickering Lights (2013)
Silhouette of Reflections (2013)
The Purple Moon (2014), and many more
Ira Mukhoty is an Indian author and studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge. Her book Heroines: Powerful Indian Women of Myth and History tells the tales of mythical heroines including Draupadi and Radha, and "six real women who played extraordinary roles but who weren’t written into textbooks as were their male counterparts", including Jahanara Begum, Rani Laxmibai and Hazrat Mahal.
Her second book Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire which was about the disappeared Women of the great Mughals, was published by Aleph Book Company on 25 April 2018. In 2020 she published Akbar: The Great Mughal - A reviewer in the Asian Review of Books described it as "an ambitious work crafted with great imagination about how the past and the present intersect".
Vismaya Mohanlal is an artist whose interests lie in the realms of fine art, poetry and performance. She was born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in India as the daughter of actor Mohanlal and Suchitra Balaji. She has a younger Brother, Actor Pranav Mohanlal. Her maternal grandfather is the Tamil film producer K. Balaji and uncle Suresh Balaje is also a producer. Vismaya completed her schooling staying in a boarding school, the Hebron School in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
Vismaya Mohanlal’s first book ‘Grains of Stardust’ is a collection of her paintings and poetry, encompassing ideas of love, art and creativity. It was launched on February 14.
Offering a unique expression of thought reflecting feeling more than meaning, Grains of Stardust is a synesthetic stream of consciousness that does not distinguish between journey and destination, but meanders unchecked upon the river of human emotion.
Summarising her work in the book, she writes
"Read my poetry out loud
Breathe it in
and taste the letters pour out.
A delicious sound.
Do you hear the colours take form?
Feel the pages move you
as you float in space
make some space
Open your mind
and get inside
and see all that
Mona Verma , Paul Harris fellow, she also serves as a soft skills trainer and personality enhancement programmer in various universities across the country.
Recipient of the Uttarakhand Ratna, 2014, Mona Verma is the author of four acclaimed works of fiction 'A Bridge to Nowhere', 'God is a River...a story of faith', 'The White Shadow', and 'The Clown of Whitefields & other stories.' Her other professional assignments include editing biographies, self-help books and science journals.
Her contribution towards English Literature has won her several awards including the 'WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE' Award from the All India Women's Conference, Hindustan Times WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, Outstanding Alumnus of Delhi Public School Society, and the prestigious award from NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS INDIA.
Manjiri Prabhu (born 30 September 1964) is an Indian author, TV producer and filmmaker. She has been hailed as the 'Desi Agatha Christie' by the media and is acknowledged as being the first woman writer of mystery fiction in India. Manjiri joined the State Institute of Educational Technology (Balchitravani) as a TV producer where she directed more than 200 infotainment programs aimed at children and young adults. During this time, her unpublished novel was adapted into a Hindi feature film titled Kuchh Dil Ne Kaha for the National Film Development Corporation of India and she wrote the script and dialogues for the same. She also produced short drama films for Filmaka and directed travelogues. Manjiri is also the founder-director of the Pune International Literary Festival.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an Indian-American author, poet, and the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.
Her short story collection, Arranged Marriage won an American Book Award in 1996, and two of her novels (The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart), as well as a short story The Word Love were adapted into films. Mistress of Spices was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Currently, Sister of My Heart, Oleander Girl, Palace of Illusions, and One Amazing Thing have all been optioned to be made into movies or TV serials.
Divakaruni's works are largely set in India and the United States, and often focus on the experiences of South Asian immigrants. She writes for children as well as adults, and has published novels in multiple genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, myth and fantasy.
Divakaruni's work has been published in over 50 magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies including the Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. Her fiction has been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Indonesian, Bengali, Turkish and Japanese.
Divakaruni began her writing career as a poet. Her two latest volumes of poetry are Black Candle and Leaving Yuba City. She has won several awards for her poems, such as a Gerbode Award, a Barbara Deming Memorial Award and an Allen Ginsberg Award.
Deepa Agarwal, was born in Almora, Uttarakhand, a small town in the Himalayan region of India. She taught English in a Delhi University college for a few years then opted to become a homemaker. In the mid 80's she took up free-lance writing and eventually made a name in the genre of children's books. Deepa writes poetry and fiction for adults as well and has translated Hindi classics like CHANDRAKANTA into English.
Deepa spent her childhood in the picturesque Kumaon region which forms the background of many of her books. Childhood escapades have provided material for stories like "Fire", which is about an incident when she and her friend accidentally set the pine forest around her home on fire. Deepa's family history too, has inspired books like CARAVAN TO TIBET.
Most famous of her books is "Kashmir! Kashmir!" - while the uncertainties of a lockdown weigh heavy on Humra and her friends, Zainab must run as fast as she can to protect the life of her neighbour. Buried deep in a mound of snow, Rehman is saved by an unexpected rescuer, and Atharva is finally able to understand his mother when he is forced to visit his ancestral home in Kashmir.
This collection of short stories explores the lives of young people in a land that is blessed with a beautiful landscape, exquisite handicrafts and warm hearted people but is at times, cold and torn with conflict. A land where joy and hope bloom in the midst of strife, like the crocus sprouting up from the dark earth.