Welcome to the first edition of The Bangalore Review Roundtable, where we discuss Indie Publishing & Bookselling in India. This session is moderated by Sucharita Dutta-Asane, Fiction Editor at The Bangalore Review.
- Radhika Timbadia is the proprietrix of Champaca Bookstore in Bangalore. She spends much of her time figuring out how to run an independent bookstore, while also reading and spending time with her dog, cat and plants.
- Shobhna S Kumar is the first in her family to call India home in over a century. She fell in love with a woman from Mumbai and moved countries to be with her. On her arrival in 2002, Shobhna went back into the closet and lived her life alienated and isolated until she and her partner found safe spaces to be themselves. This journey was instrumental in establishing Queer Ink as the first queer-owned publishing house in India. With experience in publishing and producing events, films, and theatre, Shobhna is now developing resources to support the next generation of LHBTHQIA+ Indians.
- Poet, writer and translator Dibyajyoti Sarma, who calls himself ‘an accidental publisher’, runs the independent poetry publishing outfit Red River from his bedroom in Delhi. Established in 2017, Red River has so far published 70+ titles to varying degrees of success. Red River believes that art cannot be commodified — we survive by being rare, being unique.
- Esha Chatterjee runs the publishing house BEE Books and loves the art of making beautiful books. BEE Books publishes everything from translations, fiction, non-fiction, essays to graphic novels and corporate coffee table books. She also is the Managing Director for Patra Bharati, the 3rd largest Bengali publishing house and heads its marketing wing. Patra Bharati and BEE books boasts of a catalogue of 2500+ titles, with award-winning books, books by upcoming authors and books that have been made into successful movies and international bestsellers. BEE Books has also produced and structured international capacity building programs with Arts Councils across the world. Esha actively participates in structuring the events and looks after national and international collaborations, participates in various book fairs (390+ fairs as of 2019). Apart from that, she is a book reviewer, critic and moderator for literary events. She is socially active on emails and Instagram.
- Vishal Pipraiya grew up in the 80’s hustling to rent comic books in his society for 1 re a day. Having learnt some sense in his 20’s, he quit his full-time job as an IT manager to backpack throughout the country and indulge in his love of street food and historic ruins. Eventually, having run out of money, in his 30’s he wisened up and started Pagdandi Book Café with his wife Neha. Still broke and now having figured out life, he is waiting to see what 40’s has in store for him.