Women’s History Month: The Women Who Inspire Us
– M. H. Monica
“I am a woman
– Maya Angelou
March isn’t the only time when Karadi celebrates Women’s History Month. The world of publishing is filled with talented and hard-working female publishers, writers, editors, illustrators, and designers. It is these phenomenal women who contribute to the literature and art of the world, challenging norms and widening our perspectives on an everyday basis. They have created the most complex characters and thought-provoking plots for our admiration. But which character or person inspires them? What do the women in publishing like reading about?
We asked a few inspiring women in publishing about the women (real or fictional) that inspires them! Check out their answers below.
Who is your favourite female character in a children’s (or young adult) book?
Shobha Viswanath (Publishing Director, Karadi Tales)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Bijal Vachharajani (Senior Editor, Pratham)
Always Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web – spunky, inventive and compassionate. If you can be anyone, be Charlotte, spin your own stories that create change, especially for a pig.
Richa Jha (Founder, Pickle Yolk)
I’ll make it three; three grandmothers:
Nana in The Last Stop in Market Street (Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson), Abuela in Julian Is A Mermaid (Jessica Love), and Ammachi from Rajiv Eipe’s Ammachi series (Pratham) – incredibly accepting and strong women.
Karthika VK (Publisher, Westland)
Alice, of course! (From Alice in Wonderland)
A relatively new (Indian) female author you’ve read recently whose work you loved (and the name of the book).
Shubhangi Swarup, Latitudes of Longing.
I recently got to work with Sadaf Siddique, after I met her at AFFC, and loved talking with her about South Asian children’s books, representation in stories and what’s missing. She’s the co-author of Muslims in Story and more recently wrote two picture books – Hakeem’s Hiccups and My Street.
Nandita da Cunha (The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street, illustrated by Priya Kuriyan / Kalpavriksha).
Suchitra Vijayan, author of Midnight’s Borders.
A female illustrator whose work you admire.
Such a tough question. I think we’re lucky to work in an industry with some of the most talented and spunky illustrators. I hugely admire the kind of sensitivity, humour and care that Priya Kuriyan, Archana Sreenivasan and Aindri C bring to the environmental books they work on. They conjure up worlds that reflect realities while offering a touch of the fantastical, reminding young readers what’s precious. (Yes I cheated.)
Priya Sebastian (Is It the Same for You, written by Neha Singh / Seagull).
Creative, adventurous, spunky, empathetic, humorous, strong are just some of the adjectives women of publishing use to describe their favourite female characters. Whether in fiction or in real life, the women who leave an impact aren’t your run-of-the-mill damsels in distress. They are those whose courage and determination shine through no matter what obstacles they face. And it is through them do we inspire the next generation of women to be true to themselves and find the strength to build a better tomorrow. As Michelle Obama said, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
Here’s wishing every woman for being her unique, phenomenal self – thank you for being a part of our lives!