Guest Columnists

Welcome to our guest column series "Drawn from Memory: Reflections on the Art of Illustration."

JJ Books has invited well known writers to recall images that have inspired their work, from Brahma to Beardsley and beyond.


Suneeta Peres da Costa

Suneeta Peres da Costa is an award-winning writer of Goan heritage whose work includes the bestselling novel Homework (1999); stories, essays and poems in Australian and international journals and anthologies - the latest, Contemporary Asian Australian Poets - as well as numerous productions for ABC Radio.

A former Fulbright Scholar, Suneeta has previously held the BR Whiting Rome Library Residency from the Australia Council for the Arts and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Varuna Writers’ House, among others.

She is currently fiction editor at Mascara Literary Review and lives in Sydney.

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Suneeta Peres da Costa on Manus Island children’s drawings

Usha K R

Usha K R's novel Monkey-man (2010) was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2012 and also listed for the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize.

Her previous novel A Girl and a River (2007) won the Vodafone Crossword Award in 2007 and was also nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

She is also the author of The Chosen (2003) and Sojourn (1998) and was the winner of the Katha Award for her short fiction in 1995. 

Usha is a graduate of the International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa.

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Usha KR on Amar Chitra Katha Comics

Sridala Swami

Sridala Swami’s first collection of poems, A Reluctant Survivor, was published by The Sahitya Akademi in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First book Award.

She has written four books for very young children which were published by Pratham Books in 2009 and 2012.

Swami’s last exhibition of photography, Posting the Light: Dispatches from Hamburg, was a text and image experiment and opened at Kalakriti Art Gallery in November 2009. She also curated a weekly poetry show, Poetry Mohalla, for the University of Hyderabad’s community radio in 2012.

In 2011 she was the Charles Wallace Writer-in-Residence at The University of Stirling, Scotland, and in 2013 was a Fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

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Sridala Swami on Amruta Patil