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A Search, A Journey

Search Results: Women+Asia+Publishing

Twenty years ago I didn't know that there was a very successful woman playwright called Aphra Behn who had lived and produced plays during "Shakespeare's time". Nor did I know that Rabindranath Tagore had a sister; Swarnakumari who had written and published extensively. I am grateful to all those women who did their research and retrieved the writings of women across cultures. But for them, I wouldn't have known about the politics of literature.

Six months ago when Susan Hawthorne suggested that we could work on a project to network with women-run and women-focused publishing houses in Asia, I didn't know how many organisations would fit into that category. As a reader/consumer I was familiar with writings by women from Asia and writings on women from Asia. But who are the women who run publishing houses in Asia? Or bookstores? Kali for Women, was the only name I was familiar with. I am grateful to Sue and Renate who thought of this project and made me look for the women in publishing in the Asia Pacific region.

What I am going tell you now, therefore, is a story of search for book-women in Asia, a story of information-gathering and a story of getting in touch with women using all the available modes of communication. In many ways this has been like a journey. Old memories and associations have come back. Places and people I hadn't heard of have become real. As news of women's publishing groups from different countries and cultures keeps reaching us. I perceive the similarities in their political agenda. And more than ever before I feel the need for networking.

It has certainly been a journey worth making. At the time of writing this we are still waiting to hear from/about more women who publish in this region. Because I know now that though there aren't many women's "publishing houses" in Asia there are a large number of women who publish.

I hope you enjoy this journey as much I did. And if you have any information/suggestions/opinions we would be glad to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Bandana Pattanaik

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Women Publishing in Asia
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