South Asian Author Challenge – Intro & FAQ

 
What is the South Asian Author Challenge?

This challenge is to encourage people to read books by South Asian Authors – South Asia being India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.  Please not that it does not include the Middle East!  The books can be from any time period, contemporary or classic.  If you want to talk about the challenge on Twitter or tweet your reviews, use the hashtag #saac.

What books qualify for the South Asian Author Challenge?

There are two requirements for a book to qualify for the South Asian Author Challenge, both of which must be met:

1) The author must be of South Asian descent.  It doesn’t matter if they’re third or fourth generation, or are only half South Asian – I’m pretty flexible on this issue.

2) The book must be about South Asia in some way.  It doesn’t have to be set in South Asia, as long as it’s about the culture or history in some way.  On the other hand, it can be set in South Asia and not be about South Asians.

As an example, The Blue Notebook is an amazing book about India by James Levine.  But because James Levine isn’t from South Asia, the book wouldn’t qualify for the challenge.

Another example:  Amulya Malladi is a South Asian author, but her book The Sound of Language wouldn’t qualify because it’s about a girl from Afghanistan. 

However, the book The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar would qualify because, although it is about non-Indians, it’s set in India. 

If you’re still confused on this point, please feel free to contact me and ask if a particular book would qualify for the challenge, or leave a comment on the list of South Asian authors page.

What are the dates of this challenge?

January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010

How many books do I have to read for the South Asian Author Challenge?

There are four different commitment levels:

3 books

5 books

7 books

10 books

You can sign up at any of these levels, but please specify which level you’re participating at in your sign-up post.

Do you have a list of suggested authors or reads for this challenge?

Definitely.  Here is a list of all the books I’ve read that will qualify for the challenge, and here is a list of South Asian authors (sorted by genre) that you might want to consider.

Do I have to make a list of books when I post my sign-up post?

No, definitely not.  Part of the point of this challenge is to discover new authors through other’s reviews.  Being forced to create a list at the beginning would be counterproductive!

Do I have to review every book I read for this challenge?

No, you don’t.  I really hope you’ll choose to review the books you read, but it’s not a requirement!

Can I participate even if I don’t have a blog?

Absolutely!

Are there any prizes for this challenge?

YES! There will be a prize for those who sign up before January 1, and another for those who complete it.  Additionally, I hope to host some South Asian Author Challenge-exclusive giveaways while the contest is going on.  Unfortunately, I will be up front about the fact that most of these giveaways will be U.S. only, with some including Canada, because I can’t afford to send books internationally.

Can I use books I read for this challenge for other challenges? (Are crossovers allowed?)

Yes, definitely!

Can I change challenge levels after January 1?

You can’t move down (change from 10 to 7 – that defeats the purpose of it being a challenge!) but you can move up if you find you just love South Asian authors and want to read more of them than you expected!

Why are you hosting this challenge?

Because there are a lot of great Indian authors out there!  While I love Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri, some people don’t find their work accessible.  I want to show people that Indian authors write every genre – non-fiction, YA, chick lit, historical fiction, as well as literary fiction!

Can the books I read be in translation?

Yup, definitely! 

Do re-reads count?

Absolutely!  The point of the challenge is to read South Asian authors – if you’re reading a book you’ve already read, you’re still reading a book by a South Asian author!

You’ve convinced me – how do I sign up?

I’ll be posting sign-ups later this week (hopefully tomorrow), so keep an eye out for it!

In the comments below, you state that you don’t want people to read YA. What do you have against YA? Is it eligible for this challenge?  Why don’t you want people reading it?

YA is completely eligible for the South Asian Author Challenge – the remark I made about YA in the comments of this post must be taken in context!  Someone left a comment on this post stating “So you want people to read YA authors?”  I was a bit confused because this is a South Asian Author Challenge, not a YA author challenge, so I clarified that it’s not YA authors I want people to read, but South Asian authors.  If the South Asian authors you choose to read write YA, that’s great!  I was simply clarifying the parameters of the challenge for the commenter because it seemed like they were a bit confused.  I apologize if the comment made it seem like I am hostile to YA books – that was not my intent, and I certainly don’t have anything against YA!

Where are the buttons?

Here they are.  I’ve included codes so you can put them on your own site.

 

Comments

  1. I’m so excited for the start of this challenge. Thanks for posting so early.

  2. I’m so excited for the start of this challenge. Thanks for posting so early.

  3. I SHOULD participate in this challenge, considering that I have tons of Indian authors on my shelves… however, I just do HORRIBLY on challenges (such as your clear off the shelves challenge that I was so eager to do well on and then failed…) Maybe I’ll see how many Indian authored books I read through March and go from there ;-)

  4. I SHOULD participate in this challenge, considering that I have tons of Indian authors on my shelves… however, I just do HORRIBLY on challenges (such as your clear off the shelves challenge that I was so eager to do well on and then failed…) Maybe I’ll see how many Indian authored books I read through March and go from there ;-)

  5. I am so excited about this challenge. I have a shelf full of books by Indian authors..
    I am going to participate. Thanks for hosting this challenge Swapna

  6. I am so excited about this challenge. I have a shelf full of books by Indian authors..
    I am going to participate. Thanks for hosting this challenge Swapna

  7. This is a great challenge! I have loved a lot of Indian books, but don’t think I’ve read any books from other South Asian countries. I’m going to look into possible books. Thanks for putting this together!

  8. This is a great challenge! I have loved a lot of Indian books, but don’t think I’ve read any books from other South Asian countries. I’m going to look into possible books. Thanks for putting this together!

  9. First the shallow comment: I love the buttons! Thanks so much for hosting this challenge — I am looking forward to discovering new authors and learning more about the countries included. Thanks, too for providing a list of authors and some books.

    I’ll be joining.

  10. First the shallow comment: I love the buttons! Thanks so much for hosting this challenge — I am looking forward to discovering new authors and learning more about the countries included. Thanks, too for providing a list of authors and some books.

    I’ll be joining.

  11. I’M IN.

    I think I’ll sign up for 3 books. I’ll probably read more, but I know if I sign up for more, I won’t!

  12. I’M IN.

    I think I’ll sign up for 3 books. I’ll probably read more, but I know if I sign up for more, I won’t!

  13. I am excited for this challenge as well and the buttons that you made for it are lovely!! Question: is it possible for us to change our level of participation after the challenge begins?

  14. I am excited for this challenge as well and the buttons that you made for it are lovely!! Question: is it possible for us to change our level of participation after the challenge begins?

  15. Also, I would be willing to host a giveaway or a mini-challenge to help if you are interested and/or in need of helpers.

  16. Also, I would be willing to host a giveaway or a mini-challenge to help if you are interested and/or in need of helpers.

  17. Wait–do you have to have a time machine for this? The dates say Jan 1 2010 to Dec 31 2009. ;)

    I’ll probably be joining this as I love me some books about India.

  18. Wait–do you have to have a time machine for this? The dates say Jan 1 2010 to Dec 31 2009. ;)

    I’ll probably be joining this as I love me some books about India.

  19. J.T. – Thanks, I’ll fix it!

    Beastmomma – I’d say you can move up challenge levels, but not down.

  20. J.T. – Thanks, I’ll fix it!

    Beastmomma – I’d say you can move up challenge levels, but not down.

  21. This will give me an incentive to read the novels of R.K. Narayan that I have in a collection, and maybe even A Suitable Boy or Midnight’s Children (or, more likely, a novel by Kamila Shamsie).

  22. This will give me an incentive to read the novels of R.K. Narayan that I have in a collection, and maybe even A Suitable Boy or Midnight’s Children (or, more likely, a novel by Kamila Shamsie).

  23. Hi, I have entered my name in Mr. Linky.

  24. Hi, I have entered my name in Mr. Linky.

  25. OK! I’m in! Outside of the book I’m reading now, A Case of Exploding Mangoes (by Mohammed Hanif,) I do not think I’ve read anything written by a South Asian that also takes place in South Asia. I’m going to start at the “3″ level and perhaps move up a level or two before it’s all over.

  26. OK! I’m in! Outside of the book I’m reading now, A Case of Exploding Mangoes (by Mohammed Hanif,) I do not think I’ve read anything written by a South Asian that also takes place in South Asia. I’m going to start at the “3″ level and perhaps move up a level or two before it’s all over.

  27. i’m going to join after thanksgiving. i have a bunch of indian chick lit at my parents house so i will have to wait til i go back there to get the titles.

  28. i’m going to join after thanksgiving. i have a bunch of indian chick lit at my parents house so i will have to wait til i go back there to get the titles.

  29. I will for sure join this challenge-I have three Indian books on my TBR list now

  30. I will for sure join this challenge-I have three Indian books on my TBR list now

  31. great challenge! cant wait to start!

  32. great challenge! cant wait to start!

  33. I’m glad to see this challenge doesn’t start until January. I’m definitely in. And the buttons are beautiful.

  34. I’m glad to see this challenge doesn’t start until January. I’m definitely in. And the buttons are beautiful.

  35. Very great challenge books…

  36. Very great challenge books…

  37. Another great challenge! I have been looking to finally read more of the South Asian books I’ve got in my TBR shelf! I will definitely be joining you guys.

  38. Another great challenge! I have been looking to finally read more of the South Asian books I’ve got in my TBR shelf! I will definitely be joining you guys.

  39. So you’re hoping participants will read and review YA authors? I’m in.

  40. So you’re hoping participants will read and review YA authors? I’m in.

  41. I have a question: does nonfiction count? As long as it’s written by an author of South Asian descent and about the region?

  42. I have a question: does nonfiction count? As long as it’s written by an author of South Asian descent and about the region?

  43. Susan – Well, I’m hoping people will review South Asian authors, not YA authors. But if you want to read and review South Asian YA authors, feel free!

    Eva – Non-fiction definitely counts!

  44. Susan – Well, I’m hoping people will review South Asian authors, not YA authors. But if you want to read and review South Asian YA authors, feel free!

    Eva – Non-fiction definitely counts!

  45. I am in! I have one book in mind that my high school’s library got in recently. I’ve had a “thing” for India ever since I visited when I was in 7th grade.

  46. I am in! I have one book in mind that my high school’s library got in recently. I’ve had a “thing” for India ever since I visited when I was in 7th grade.

  47. If a South Asian author writes YA, they are less desirable for this challenge?

    I hate to be sensitive but I am. Your challenge says South Asian. I’m disappointed that YA isn’t welcomed.

    By my way of thinking promoting people of color who write YA could lead to more readers reading South Asian writers and any other poc writers in general.

  48. If a South Asian author writes YA, they are less desirable for this challenge?

    I hate to be sensitive but I am. Your challenge says South Asian. I’m disappointed that YA isn’t welcomed.

    By my way of thinking promoting people of color who write YA could lead to more readers reading South Asian writers and any other poc writers in general.

  49. Color Online – you are welcome to read and review any books for this challenge as long as they fit the parameters of the challenge, including YA.

  50. Color Online – you are welcome to read and review any books for this challenge as long as they fit the parameters of the challenge, including YA.

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. ‘m so excited about this challenge. I’m definitely joining =) The buttons are very pretty!

  54. ‘m so excited about this challenge. I’m definitely joining =) The buttons are very pretty!

  55. Here is the link to my blog post about the challenge: http://themysterybookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/11/south-asian-author-challenge.html. I can’t wait to get started!

  56. Here is the link to my blog post about the challenge: http://themysterybookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/11/south-asian-author-challenge.html. I can’t wait to get started!

  57. What if the author is not of South Asian descent, but she is married in a south-Asian family, lives in, had become a citizen and writes about a south Asian country?

  58. What if the author is not of South Asian descent, but she is married in a south-Asian family, lives in, had become a citizen and writes about a south Asian country?

  59. Ana -

    Wow, is that a good question! I’d say that it counts because she’s married into a South Asian family and has become a citizen! Just out of curiosity, who is the author?

  60. Ana -

    Wow, is that a good question! I’d say that it counts because she’s married into a South Asian family and has become a citizen! Just out of curiosity, who is the author?

  61. I was thinking about Anne Ranasinghe (she was born Anne Lise Katz in Germany) -she writes mainly poetry.

    So Ondaatje’s “Anil’s Ghost” and “Running in the Family” would qualify but not his famous “English Patient.”

    What about Vikram Seth “Two Lives”? It is also about Indian culture and his uncle’s story…

    I am going to consider the challenge , I was planning to read Midnight Children and a Suitable Boy and this will give me a good excuse…

  62. I was thinking about Anne Ranasinghe (she was born Anne Lise Katz in Germany) -she writes mainly poetry.

    So Ondaatje’s “Anil’s Ghost” and “Running in the Family” would qualify but not his famous “English Patient.”

    What about Vikram Seth “Two Lives”? It is also about Indian culture and his uncle’s story…

    I am going to consider the challenge , I was planning to read Midnight Children and a Suitable Boy and this will give me a good excuse…

  63. Here is my entry:Anaïs: Reading Travels: South Asia – 7 books. I had it on the sign up page as well.

  64. Here is my entry:Anaïs: Reading Travels: South Asia – 7 books. I had it on the sign up page as well.

  65. Please count me in.

  66. Please count me in.

  67. What a lovely and interesting idea. I’m in! Thanks, W

  68. What a lovely and interesting idea. I’m in! Thanks, W

  69. Woohoo I’m so in! I signed up already and I’ve created a list of awesome sounding books. I’m so excited and this is a great challenge to get people reading more about South Asia :)
    It doesn’t have to be set in Souh Asia right? Just by a South Asian author?

  70. Woohoo I’m so in! I signed up already and I’ve created a list of awesome sounding books. I’m so excited and this is a great challenge to get people reading more about South Asia :)
    It doesn’t have to be set in Souh Asia right? Just by a South Asian author?

  71. Miss Attitude – It doesn’t have to be set in South Asia, but needs to be in some ways about a South Asian or South Asian culture. It’s kind of subjective!

  72. Miss Attitude – It doesn’t have to be set in South Asia, but needs to be in some ways about a South Asian or South Asian culture. It’s kind of subjective!

  73. S. krishna,

    Thanks for coming back to my concern. I’m in. Looking at 8 books at least. I’ve wanted to read Thrity Umrigar for awhile and I have at least 6 YA titles I want to read.

    I’ve also put a list of recommended titles.

  74. S. krishna,

    Thanks for coming back to my concern. I’m in. Looking at 8 books at least. I’ve wanted to read Thrity Umrigar for awhile and I have at least 6 YA titles I want to read.

    I’ve also put a list of recommended titles.

  75. My list is up here.

  76. My list is up here.

  77. Great challenge. I’m signing up for 5 and hopefully can move up if I manage to finish the 5.

    http://piperspastreads.blogspot.com/2009/12/south-asian-author-challenge-11-123110.html

  78. Great challenge. I’m signing up for 5 and hopefully can move up if I manage to finish the 5.

    http://piperspastreads.blogspot.com/2009/12/south-asian-author-challenge-11-123110.html

  79. I really would enjoy doing this challenge. Consider me in until I get a post and link up. Thank you.

  80. I really would enjoy doing this challenge. Consider me in until I get a post and link up. Thank you.

  81. Hi, I’ve entered the challenge but posted the link to my blog instead of the blog post. I have no idea how to change this. Here is the correct link to the post:

    http://ihatebooks.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/my-first-two-book-challenges-ever/

    Help :)

  82. Hi, I’ve entered the challenge but posted the link to my blog instead of the blog post. I have no idea how to change this. Here is the correct link to the post:

    http://ihatebooks.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/my-first-two-book-challenges-ever/

    Help :)

  83. Amanda – I deleted the old one and posted the correct one!

  84. Amanda – I deleted the old one and posted the correct one!

  85. Thanks for hosting this challenge! I have never read a book by a south Asian author but I’m excited to find and read some! I’m committing to at least three books this year.

    http://www.cassandraland.com/2010/01/2010-resolution-read-more-books.html

  86. Thanks for hosting this challenge! I have never read a book by a south Asian author but I’m excited to find and read some! I’m committing to at least three books this year.

    http://www.cassandraland.com/2010/01/2010-resolution-read-more-books.html

  87. I am excited to join this Challenge and broaden my horizons!

  88. I am excited to join this Challenge and broaden my horizons!

  89. Let me know how to sign up! Terrific challenge – looking forward.

    Ru Freeman
    http://www.rufreeman.com

  90. Let me know how to sign up! Terrific challenge – looking forward.

    Ru Freeman
    http://www.rufreeman.com

  91. nice books…

  92. nice books…

  93. Why the exclusion of Bhutan and Nepal from the South Asian list? From Nepal, we have e.g. Samrat Upadhyay’s The Royal Ghosts. And Gopilal Acharya (from Bhutan) was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009 for his debut novel With A Stone In My Heart.

  94. Why the exclusion of Bhutan and Nepal from the South Asian list? From Nepal, we have e.g. Samrat Upadhyay’s The Royal Ghosts. And Gopilal Acharya (from Bhutan) was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009 for his debut novel With A Stone In My Heart.

  95. Feanor – I’m planning on expanding the challenge next year to include the countries Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives, all of which are also considered to be part of South Asia!

  96. Feanor – I’m planning on expanding the challenge next year to include the countries Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives, all of which are also considered to be part of South Asia!

  97. Do audiobooks count? I will still meet my goal regardless, but I want to know whether or not I can officially count an audiobook I just “read.”

  98. Do audiobooks count? I will still meet my goal regardless, but I want to know whether or not I can officially count an audiobook I just “read.”

  99. I posted a page with ALL current reading challenges. Let me know if you want me to add any other information about yours. I hope it brings even more readers to your challenge!
    Reading Challenges.

    Rachelle (Bibliobabe)

  100. I posted a page with ALL current reading challenges. Let me know if you want me to add any other information about yours. I hope it brings even more readers to your challenge!
    Reading Challenges.

    Rachelle (Bibliobabe)

  101. I’ve finished 3 books, my original commitment, so I’m moving up to 5!

  102. I’ve finished 3 books, my original commitment, so I’m moving up to 5!

  103. Bibliobabe – Thanks so much!

    Karen – congratulations!

    Jennifer, Snapshot – Audiobooks absolutely count!

  104. Bibliobabe – Thanks so much!

    Karen – congratulations!

    Jennifer, Snapshot – Audiobooks absolutely count!

  105. So, now that I have taken part and am super excited.Where do I write the reviews?

  106. So, now that I have taken part and am super excited.Where do I write the reviews?

  107. Deepthi – Thanks so much for joining! Here’s more information on posting reviews:

    http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/2010/07/south-asian-author-challenge-2010-july.html

  108. Deepthi – Thanks so much for joining! Here’s more information on posting reviews:

    http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/2010/07/south-asian-author-challenge-2010-july.html

  109. I am signing up for 10 books… i’ve finished 5 books till now

  110. I am signing up for 10 books… i’ve finished 5 books till now

Trackbacks

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