Asian stories, by Asians, for Asians

Asian stories, by Asians, for Asians

V.S. Naipaul once alleged that Indian Writers in English (IWE's) are responsible for creating a body of literature in exile mainly ... read by readers living abroad.

Yes, it did feel that way for a long time. So, enough stereotypes, enough pandering to the market, enough poverty porn; no more bound feet or brides burning either. Here are stories about Asians, by Asians, as real people.
Twenty-Two: New Asian Short Stories
Editor: Prof MA Quayum

An excerpt from the introduction by MA Quayum
(Asia is home) to several ancient civilisations – Mesopotamian, Indus Valley, Persian and Chinese – this is where many races, religions and languages have met and coexisted for centuries. It is the cradle of the world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and home to some of the major languages as well: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Persian, Tamil, Urdu and, more recently, English, albeit adventitiously and through a process of cultural incision and grafting. Nowadays, Asia is also transforming economically at a phenomenal pace ...

... I invited writers old and new ... to submit short stories, in English only, no more than one per author and not exceeding 6,000 words. The response was as robust as the last time, with two significant exceptions: in 2009 (when this editor solicited submissions for another anthology of Asian writer, A Rainbow Feast), the majority of stories came from those living away from home (in diaspora), while some were from authors who were not natural-born Asians but had made Asia their home; this time, however, almost all the stories have come from homegrown Asian writers.

... there are twenty-two stories in the volume, and this is how the tally stands country-wise: one each from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan; four from the Philippines, five from Singapore and eight from India. In this count, I have considered only the country of origin of the authors, because some of them have moved either to another country within Asia or to the West ... if we leave out the internal migrations within the continent, there are only three writers in this volume, who are based in the West, compared to ten in the previous volume which prompted one reviewer, renowned Bangladeshi poet Kaiser Haq, to ask half-humorously if the whole of Asia was in exile; “A Continent in Exile?” was the title of his review of A Rainbow Feast.

Welcome to Asia.

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