After a few months of looking back on my reading choices and wondering what I really want to take away as a reader or give to this community of readers, I’ve finally realised what I really crave, seek and love in books: south-Asian representation. As a desi—Indian—coming across familiar names, understanding the tales from which some stories are drawing their inspiration, easily engrossing in the fictionally carved world because it’s the culture I know, getting excited at the mention of a desi side character and even more when they’re the mains, gives me more joy, happiness and a sense of belonging. So I recently decided to turn my focus on finding more south-Asian books, trying more south-Asian authors, and recommending more south-Asian favourites.
Which brings me to the main announcement: I wondered there might be other readers too, either south-Asians who want to read more of their own rep in books or those who are advocates of diversity and want to expand their reading horizons by making their TBR inclusive of more cultures, who might be interested in this personal initiative.
The South-Asian Reading Challenge 2020
Let’s start a new decade with more South-Asian books and appreciate more desi representation in literature.
This reading challenge will start on the 1st of January, 2020 and is essentially about reading more south-Asian books. From creating TBRs to simply logging the books as and when you read them, this challenge is purely about acknowledging the desi books you pick up. More information will be updated next week and sign-ups will open soon.
Want to be a host for SARC 2020?
As of now, me and Nandini (Novels&Nebulas)—co-creator of this challenge—are looking for hosts to help us out with recommendation lists, guest posts, challenge coordination, etc. The forms are open till December 8th, 2019. Since the challenge is primarily focused on South-Asia, we’re looking for residents or descendants of the following countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives.