South Asian Heritage Month: 18 books to celebrate diaspora

South Asian Heritage Month: 18 books to celebrate diaspora

by Suswati Basu
South Asian Heritage Month book recommendations

South Asian Heritage Month is an annual celebration held in various countries, including the UK and Canada, during the month of July, and a great chance to revisit some of these amazing authors we have interviewed. It aims to recognise and promote the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of people with South Asian heritage. The month-long event typically features a wide range of activities, including cultural performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions, and educational initiatives. The platform showcases the achievements and heritage of individuals and communities with roots in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.

It is a relatively new initiative, with its inaugural celebration taking place in 2020. It was established to address the underrepresentation of South Asian history, culture, and achievements within the broader narrative of British history and society. This year, it takes place between July 18th to August 17th.

Best books for South Asian Heritage Month

  • “Brown Baby” by Nikesh Shukla. A heartfelt exploration of fatherhood, race, and identity, navigating the complexities of raising a mixed-race child in contemporary society.
Listen: Nikesh Shukla on The Good Immigrant
  • “The Right Sort of Girl” by Anita Rani. A powerful memoir revealing the challenges and triumphs of a British-Asian woman forging her path in the media industry.
  • “Good Talk” by Mira Jacob. A graphic memoir that delves into conversations about race, family, and belonging in the context of contemporary America.
  • “Empireland” by Sathnam Sanghera. A thought-provoking examination of Britain’s colonial legacy and its impact on modern society, culture, and identity.
Listen: Sathnam Sanghera speaks about Stolen History
Read: Anti-Coronation Day books: nonfiction reads on the British Empire
  • “The Roles We Play” by Sabba Khan. A collection of poignant stories exploring the experiences and identities of South Asian women living in the diaspora.
  • “It’s Not About the Burqa” edited by Mariam Khan. A compelling anthology featuring essays by Muslim women who challenge stereotypes and share their diverse perspectives.
  • “Stories for South Asian Supergirls” by Raj Kaur Khaira. Inspirational tales of remarkable South Asian women who have broken barriers and achieved extraordinary success.
  • “The Corner Shop” by Babita Sharma. A memoir celebrating the cultural significance of corner shops in the UK and the stories of the families who run them.
  • “Partition Voices” by Kavita Puri. A compelling oral history of the Partition of India, revealing the personal stories and memories of those who lived through it.
  • “Good Indian Daughter” by Sneha Lees. A captivating novel exploring the complexities of family, tradition, and personal freedom in contemporary India.
Watch: “Good Indian Daughter” by Sneha Lees
Listen: “Brown Girl Like Me” by Jaspreet Kaur
Listen: “Good Girls Marry Doctors” by Piyali Bhattacharya
Read: Jaipur Literature Festival 2023: climate change, colonialism and constitution
Watch: “Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted” by Gabrielle Deonath and Kamini Ramdeen Chowdhury
  • “Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir” by Yashica Dutt. A brave and enlightening memoir recounting the author’s journey of self-discovery and embracing her Dalit identity.

If you want to learn more about events taking place, then check out the South Asian Heritage Month UK site for more information.

This article contains affiliate links in which we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We have not been commissioned to review books and services.

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