Desi Reads is a reader-focused platform to help book lovers find authors and writers linked to South Asia.
Set up by avid readers who were forever struggling to find books linked to South Asia, their own experiences, and protagonists with whom they identify.
Desi Reads are...
Farhana Khalique - Editor
Farhana Khalique is a writer, voiceover artist and teacher from south-west London.
Her writing has appeared in Reflex Fiction, Visual Verse, Lighthouse Literary Journal, Popshot Quarterly, The Good Journal issue 1 and sister-hood magazine, and her stories have been anthologised in The Brown Anthology, City of Stories volumes 1 and 2, Dividing Lines and Bath Flash Fiction Volume 3. She has been shortlisted for The Asian Writer Short Story Prize and she won a Word Factory Apprentice Award 2018/19. She is also a submissions editor for SmokeLong Quarterly, and she has written for the stage and performed her work at London's Tara Theatre.
Farhana’s voiceover work covers a range of products and services, and she is a continuity announcer on Channel 4 Television.
She is also a teacher with over thirteen years of experience in schools and colleges in inner-city London, where she teaches A-Level and GCSE English.
For information on Farhana’s work - www.farhanakhalique.com.
Do we review books?
Essentially, we're not a review site. We’re a platform to inform readers of what books are on the market so that they can choose for themselves.
We do have our Featured Book section. These are specially selected by us - books which we feel readers may find interesting.
How do you choose your featured book?
There is no hard and fast rule. It can be a newly published book or older. It does not have to be new or award-winning. It has to be something we find interesting, a book we feel readers would like to know about.
Do you consider self-published?
Yes, we will look at self-published work. We, at Desi Reads, understand that there are some great gems out there, that have been overlooked due to the thinking of the gate-keepers at present.
A self-published book will go onto a Reading Selections page.
However, to be a Featured Book we will have to read it and agree on the quality of writing; some books are rejected because they don’t come up to scratch.
Why don’t all the books have a sample to read?
In a nutshell, publishing rights. We need permission under copyright law to print a sample of the book. Please know that we are trying our best to get them.
What happens if I subscribe to the mailing list?
Please subscribe to our mailing list, with confidence. We will not share your email with any other party. It will be for The Desi Reads data base and purely used to send out updates.
Anjali M Chadha - Founder
Anjali is an actor and writer. She created and toured her own successful solo show, 'The Dateless Wonder,' which was nominated for the prestigious Meyer-Whitworth Award: one of the largest annual monetary prizes for playwriting in the UK. (The Dateless Wonder is now available in print at Amazon.co.uk to read at your own leisure).
Anjali runs her own entertainment company MissyMya and her latest Comedy ‘Dadism,’ played to great success at the Watermans Art Centre.
If this isn't enough, Anjali has directed two short films, 'Rosie' and 'Vinod', the latter which she also wrote.
As a prolific reader, Anjali loves Narinder Dhami, anything chic-lit, and her new book crush, Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan.
For information on Anjali’s work - www.anjalimya.com.
Sanjay Lago - Contributor
Sanjay is an actor, theatremaker and facilitator based in Scotland. He is someone who enjoys making collaborative work, which brings together different art forms. He is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the recipient of the School of Drama Principals Award, which he received upon graduation. His work is a variation of working in schools and prisons. He also really enjoys creating autobiographical and verbatim work. The themes he looks at include: race, belonging, identity, sexuality, masculinity and dyslexia, to name a new.
He also has skills in hosting and creating events and really enjoys doing a variation of roles in the Arts industry. From Theatre ushering to being a part of Equity, the Trade Union.
He is currently developing 2 shows of his own looking at male suicide within South Asian communities and dyslexia.
Sanjay has always been a massive book-lover, from a young age he chose food and books as his loves in life.
He founded the South Asian reading group “Chai Jalebi and Words”, because he was tired of not seeing himself represented in reading groups and people saying they could never find South Asian literature, except the big names that everyone knows. He wanted to create a place to discuss and speak about literature by South Asian writers, but also a place to discuss wider works, from poetry to plays to fiction to non-fiction.
His favourite books are the Baby Ganesha Series by Vaseem Khan, because he is a big Agatha Christie fan, and he really enjoys Nikesh Shukla's works and Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses series.
For more on Sanjay’s work and keeping in touch with what he is upto can be found at : www.sanjaylago.co.uk
Carmen Gaur - Contributor
Carmen has just started her degree in English and Creative writing at Warwick University.
She's always had a zest for storytelling for as long as she can remember, she has never wanted to be anything else... Well, she did want to be a fairy at one point, but she soon grew out of it.
As a big reader what became obvious to Carmen, whilst growing up, was how few stories featured characters that resembled her or her siblings. She plans on changing that and is currently working on her 1st YA novel.
Carmen was presented with an outstanding talent award for an original piece of writing selected for publication by Young Writer’s, an organisation she has been involved with during her writing career. Her poems have been selected and published numerous times.
Blinding Light. (The Poetry Trials - A poem is just the beginning.)
The boy who broke the rules. (Phizz-Whizzing Stories.)
The Lady of Shalott. (Express Yourself Through Poetry.)
Friendship. (The Poetry Games.)
Her work was chosen to be read at the first story open house event.
Carmen has also been published in It Always Seems So Simple. (An anthology by The First Story Group.)
She was awarded ‘The Prize for Excellence (English Literature)’ 2015-16 (London Schools Gold Club.)
Carmen is an active member of YouthCan (Youth Civil Activism Network), an organisation committed to challenging extremism and hate speech. In addition, she was recently chosen to be a part of the Hounslow promise mentoring scheme.
Spreading her story-telling wings, Carmen was selected to participate in the prestigious Soho Theatre’s Comedy Skills Lab...So watch this space.
Sejal Sehmi - Co-Founder
Sejal Sehmi is the UK Editor for Brown Girl Magazine - an online US-based publication covering features on the South Asian diaspora written by South Asian women across the globe.
Sejal is also a freelance writer and has featured in Asiana, The Asian Today, Asian Woman and Mann Mukti.
In June 2013. in association with Global Arts Kingston, a multi-cultural community arts organization in Kingston-upon-Thames, Sejal created a film production called The Evolution of the British Indian Woman as part of the Kingston Connections festival held in Kingston’s Rose Theatre. Through the eyes of one Kingston family, the presentation explored the essence of a British Indian woman through the experiences of three branches of one family tree.
Her work can be found on - www.sejalsehmi.com.