Kitaab, which means “book” in many Asian languages, was founded in 2005 by journalist and writer Zafar Anjum in Singapore as a space to celebrate and critique Asia+n writing in English. The revamped website was launched in July 2013 with a much stronger focus.
Kitaab aims to help you avoid information overload which is the curse of the information age. The idea behind Kitaab is to create a link-based information storehouse where the most important stories on Asian writers and writing are carefully curated, so that lovers of Asian writing do not have to look anywhere else for the assorted news and views on their favourite books and writers. All they need to do is to visit Kitaab and quench their literary thirst.
Headquartered in Singapore, Kitaab provides a writing and publishing platform to emerging and seasoned writers from the region to express themselves creatively. Learn more about our publishing and other media programmes here.
Kitaab is only a few years old and it is already being read in many parts of the world. Kitaab welcomes your feedback, support and contributions.
Kitaab is owned and managed by Kitaab International Pte. Ltd., Singapore.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Journalist, writer, publisher and filmmaker Zafar Anjum currently works as the Asia Online Editor at Executive Networks Media, Singapore. He has been published in India, the US, the UK, Singapore and other countries. His most recent works include Startup Capitals : Discovering the Global Hotspots of Innovation (Random House India, December 2014), Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician (Vintage Books/Random House India, 2014), The Resurgence of Satyam (Random House India, 2012), and The Singapore Decalogue: Episodes in the Life of a Foreign Talent (Red Wheelbarrow Books, 2012). He also blogs, mentors budding writers and is editor of Kitaab.org, a literary website. Zafar Anjum is represented by the Jacaranda Literary Agency.
Mitali Chakravarty started writing from the age of eight after winning the first prize in a poetry contest and never quite stopped writing. She started her professional career as a journalist in The Times of India. She specialised in Economic Development Studies from Oslo University. Her bylines appeared in The Statesman, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Pioneer. Her poetry has appeared as part of two anthologies, ‘In Reverie’ (2016) and ‘An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English’ (1984). She published a humorous book on living in China where she spent eight years, ‘In the Land of Dragons’ (2014), translated a short story, ‘Full Circle’, by the erstwhile Nabendu Ghosh, a Bengali writer and Bollywood scriptwriter, which was published in a collection called ‘That Bird Called Happiness ‘(2018). She blogs at 432m.wordpress.com and is working on her first novel and translating another novella from Bengali to English.
Dr Pallavi Narayan earned her PhD from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2016, for her dissertation titled “Pamuk’s Istanbul: Everyday Architecture”. The dissertation focuses on the city in fiction, and incorporates urban studies, narrative theory, techniques of representation and theories of otherness to focus on cities and fiction. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Delhi.
Based in Singapore, Pallavi is Acquisitions Editor with NUS Press, National University of Singapore, and has previously worked with Singapore Management University, Penguin Random House, Pan Macmillan and Routledge, Taylor & Francis Books. She has been a guest lecturer for Communications Skills at IIT Delhi, and is on the advisory board of Inquis, a Turkey-based online graduate journal of literatures in English.
Pallavi has presented her research work at national and international conferences. Her publications span academic as well as creative writing, and appears in anthologies, journals and national dailies. She performs poetry as well, and made it to the finals of a spoken word competition organised in Singapore in conjunction with the United Nations. She can teach literature and conducts the occasional writing workshop.
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of the novel, Singular Acts of Endearment, as well as three poetry collections. The poetry books are titled: I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist, The Arbitrary Sign, and Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus. Publisher at Squircle Line Press, Desmond has edited over fifteen books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. Trained in publishing at Stanford, with a world religions masters from Harvard and creative writing masters from Notre Dame, his honors include the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Prize, Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, National Arts Council Creation Grant, NAC Gardens-by-the-Bay Residency, Singapore International Foundation Grant, Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize, and Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, among other awards. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, UK, and USA.
Dr. Debotri Dhar
Dr. Debotri Dhar currently teaches at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, USA. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University, India, a Master’s in Women’s Studies, with distinction, from the University of Oxford, UK, and a Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, USA . Delightfully fond of both fact and fiction, Debotri juggles academic research and teaching with lively bursts of creative writing. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines, journals and anthologies in the UK, USA, India, Canada and elsewhere. Debotri’s collection Postcards from Oxford: Stories of Women and Travel (London: Roman Books, 2013) was described by the New York Journal of Books as “elegantly written, with poise and control… As a body of work, they examine what it means for a 21st century woman to travel.” Her second novel, the Courtesans of Karim Street, was published in 2015 by Niyogi Books in New Delhi. Praised as “an extremely interesting and delightful read” with a “refreshing new take on the old” (Pioneer), a book that “meticulously documents the decline of North India’s courtesan culture over the last century” (Telegraph), that “challenges the conventional notion of the courtesans and gives us strong, intelligent female characters” (Scroll), and in several other national newspapers, the novel has been nominated for the 2015 Muse India Young Writers Award.
Monica Arora is a graduate of Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi). Arora has worked with Roli Books in the past and presently edits two bi-monthly magazines. She also edits both fiction and coffee-table books for Fingerprint Publishing, Prakash Books, besides editing fiction and non-fiction titles for Purple Folio, a literary agency as well as coffee table books for IIME, Jaipur.
Rheea Mukherjee received her MFA in creative writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her work has been published in in Ultra Violet, Southern Humanities Review, CHA : An Asian Literary Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Bombay Literary Magazine, A Gathering of Tribes, Everyday Fiction, Bengal Lights and Out Of Print Magazine. Her unpublished collection of stories, In These Cities WeDreamed, was a Semi-Finalist in the Black Lawrence Press, St Lawrence Book Award, 2011. In 2012 she co-founded Bangalore Writers Workshop, and currently co-runs Write Leela Write, a design and content laboratory in Bangalore.
Shruthi Rao writes short fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Several of her stories have won awards – most recently the DNA-Out of Print Short Fiction Award 2014 – and have been published in literary magazines like Out of Print, Reading Hour, Open Road Review and Papercuts, among others. Her articles on travel, science and parenting have appeared in Mint Lounge, Deccan Herald, Brainwave Magazine and elsewhere. She lives in Bangalore, and enjoys the company of books, food, and her family – not necessarily in that order.
Lucas Stewart, Editor-at-Large, Myanmar
Lucas Stewart is the British Council’s Literature Advisor in Myanmar working with local writers, publishers and booksellers to develop the literary community since transition. He focuses on the Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds project that supports freedom of creativity in ethnic nationality literature through short story workshops. His reportage on Myanmar literature have been commissioned and published by Swedish Pen, English Pen, Asian Cha, Arts Professional and The Diplomat amongst others. He has advised international literary organisations such as Pen International, Index on Censorship and the British Centre for Literary Translation on the contemporary state of literature in Myanmar.
Mushtaq Bilal, Editor-at-Large, Pakistan
Mushtaq Bilal is a doctoral candidate at National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. His reviews, essays, translations, blogs, and interviews have appeared in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Postcolonial Text, Contemporary South Asia, the Annual of Urdu Studies, The News on Sunday, Dawn Books and Authors, and the European Graduate School’s website. Currently, he is working on a collection of interviews with Pakistani English fiction writers and is translating Ikramullah’s Urdu fiction into English.
Ross Adkin, Editor-at-Large, Nepal
Ross Adkin (@ross_adkin) grew up in the north of Scotland and studied South Asian history and languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and Cambridge. He works as a freelance journalist in Kathmandu.
Farah Ghuznavi, Editor-at-Large, Bangladesh
Farah Ghuznavi is a writer and newspaper columnist, with a background in development work in Asia and Africa. She remains an unrepentant idealist despite the existence of empirical evidence that suggests it might be better to think otherwise. Her work has been widely-anthologised in Europe, Asia and North America. Her story “Judgement Day” was Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Competition 2010, and “Getting There” placed second in the Oxford University GEF Competition. In 2013, Farah published her first short story collection, Fragments of Riversong (Daily Star Books, Bangladesh). The book has been well-received by the global literary community. In 2012, she edited Lifelines, an anthology of Bangladeshi writing for the Indian publisher, Zubaan Books. Having completed a stint as Writer in Residence with Commonwealth Writers in 2013, Farah has written a number of essays and advice columns on writing.
Rituparna Mahapatra, Editor-at-Large, Dubai
Rituparna Mahapatra is a writer and educator from Orissa, India. She taught English literature at Sambalpur University and Delhi University. Driven by her love for writing, she gave up teaching and freelanced for various publishing houses like The Telegraph, Deccan Herald, before a short stint with Encyclopedia Britannica India. A movie enthusiast, and a voracious reader, she loves nature walks in her free time and aspires to be a singer among other things. Cooking for her family and friends is an added passion. Mother of two kids, she takes utmost pride in being called ‘Mom’. Currently, she lives in Dubai with her dog and family.
Sucharita Dutta-Asane is an independent editor and award-winning writer based in Pune. She’s the recipient of the inaugural Dastaan Award, 2013, for her short story Rear View. In 2008, she received the Oxford Bookstores debuting writers’ (second) award for her anthology The Jungle Stories. Her short stories have appeared in various national and international anthologies including Juggernaut Books, the Africa-Asia anthology Behind the Shadows (2012); Zubaan Books’ Breaking the Bow, (2012); Unisun Publications’ anthology Vanilla Desires; APK Publishers’ anthology of short stories by Indian women writers titled Ripples. Her stories and book reviews have also appeared in online literary journals including Dwarts (Nigeria), Bhashabandhan Literary Review, The Four Quarters Magazine (TFQM), Café Dissensus, The Bangalore Review (TBR), the Out of Print Blog, Earthen Lamp Journal, Open Road Review, and Asian Cha among others. Her novella Petals in the Sun was serially published in the now defunct www.4indianwomen.com. In her professional avatar, Sucharita works as an independent editor with publishing houses and individual authors.
Monideepa Sahu is a former banker, who had a whale of a time writing her fantasy adventure novel, Riddle of the Seventh Stone. She has since authored a biography of Tagore for young people, and hopes readers and publishers will indulge her if she writes more. Her short fiction for both adults and children have been widely anthologized. She’s shot off her opinions on deathly serious subjects, and sometimes raised chuckles. She lives in Bangalore with a vintage PC, countless arthropods and people. She blogs at http://www.monideepa.blogspot.com/.
Elen Turner is a Western New York-based editor and writer. She has a PhD from the Australian National University; her thesis looked at the contemporary Indian feminist publishing industry. Literature from South Asia is her specific area of interest, and she works for Kathmandu-based Himal Southasian magazine.
Oindrila Mukherjee is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, USA. She has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She was the Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University from 2009 to 2011. Before moving to the U.S., Oindrila worked as a journalist for The Statesman in India. Oindrila writes fiction and non fiction, and enjoys translating Bengali literature to English. Her work has been published in the U.S., Canada, England, and India. You can follow her on Twitter at @oinkness.
Felicia Low-Jimenez studied business administration at NUS, Singapore and literature at the University of New England. She has been a geeky bookseller for most of her adult life. She has bought books, sold books, marketed books, and now she co-writes a children’s book series called Sherlock Sam as well as short stories featuring robots, aliens, and ninjas. She spends most of her free time reading, and, when she can afford it, she travels, usually to look for beautiful bookstores around the world.
Aminah Sheikh is a media consultant and former business journalist, based in Manipal, India. She is a wanderer, and it is her being to travel and unlock a part of her with each travel. The discoveries have made her a story-teller of sorts. No matter where she travels to, bookstores with the scent of old books tug at her heart strings. Having lived in the city of dreams -Mumbai- for over ten years, she has chosen to live in a quaint town, in Karnataka, laced by the sea shore and the Western Ghats. She now pens her stories that will hopefully be a book someday.