In a world where female voices are often silenced or marginalized, South East Asia’s literary scene is a vibrant oasis where women writers are making their mark, and India is at the forefront of this movement. The region’s women writers are weaving tales that capture the hearts and minds of readers around the world. Today, we will introduce you to three of India’s favourite women writers from South East Asia: Michelle Ayon Navajas, Anupama Ravindran Menon, and Felicia Yap. Get ready to be inspired, entertained, and moved as we explore the rich and diverse world of South East Asian literature.
MICHELLE AYON NAVAJAS
Michelle Ayon Navajas from the Philippines is a renowned poet and writer who has captured the hearts of Indian readers. With eight books published in the last two and a half years and another one set to release soon, Michelle has certainly become one of India’s favourite woman writers from Southeast Asia. Three of her books have topped Amazon’s Bestsellers List, and her work has been highly praised for its emotional depth and relatable prose.
Michelle’s upcoming book, Locker, is a collection of fictional short stories that promises to take readers on an emotional journey. Michelle is no stranger to critical acclaim, having authored the book After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars, a collection of true and inspiring stories of victims and survivors of abuse and violence in prose and poetry. She has a Master of Education in English and was a former college professor, teaching literature, speech, and oral communication, creative writing, drama, and theatre arts. Michelle is also a graduate of Mass Communications major in Journalism.
Michelle maintains an active writing schedule and is a freelance creative writer who blogs passionately on topics such as love, life, motherhood, and her advocacy against abuse and violence at www.michnavs.wordpress.com. Her relatable works have earned her a dedicated following of fans from all over the world, especially India, where her literary works have been bestsellers within days of their release.
Michelle’s ability to craft touching poems and captivating stories with relatable characters has labelled her as one of the most focused, mature, and experienced authors in the literary world today. As she gears up for the release of Locker, fans are eagerly anticipating another masterpiece from this talented writer.
ANUPAMA RAVINDRAN MENON
Anupama Ravindran Menon, otherwise fondly known as Anu to near & dear ones, has her roots going back to the beautiful God’s own country, Kerala. She was born and brought up in the humble suburbs of old Seremban town in Malaysia.Being the oldest of her siblings, she was brought up in the warm embrace her humble family who she quotes as the crux of everything she is today. Nurtured & loved by the nucleus of her life, dad, Mr Ravindran Menon, mom, Madam Prema Nair, grandparents Mr V Krishnan Kutty Menon & Madam Sankari Menon , aunt Mrs Sugunna Krishnan, uncle Mr Sateesh Menon & Mr Nesa , sisters & best friend Anitha Menon, Anisha & Ashwani Nesarajah. Upon being conferred the scholarship of the Malaysian Defense Ministry & obtaining MBBS from Manipal University, she started training as an intern shortly after graduating & began serving as a doctor in the Malaysian Armed Forces. Setting foot as a doctor & an officer in the military was an experience of its own. Her career begun as a junior doctor in a combat training centre situated down south of Peninsular Malaysia. Adapting into the military culture with a job scope expanding beyond just being a doctor was an eye opener.
As a call of duty, she was privileged to serve under the United Nation’s (UN) flagship in a peacekeeping operation in Lebanon in 2019-2020 (UNIFIL). Being a part of an entourage of the Malaysian Battalion 850-7, she was amongst many who have actively served in this region over the decades. Joining international exercises provided an arena, pivoting as a melting pot of culture & brains, enabling the exchange of personal & professional experiences between various cultures & continents. Apart from being a United Nations ambassador & a doctor in field, she was also the Gender Focal Point representative of the nation & become an active part of the COVID-19 crisis team under the tutelage of UNIFIL Medical HQ & WHO. She personally felt that it was a wonderful opportunity to be walking hand in hand with all these beautiful ladies of all walks of life, hearing & experiencing their life first hand. Furthermore, she represented Malaysia in a few international virtual symposiums to present regarding the adversities & challenges of COVID-19 in operational areas, namely by Vietnamese Defence & UNDPKO & CUNPKO of India. As much as she loves practicing medicine, she is also in awe of art in its every form, be it music, dance, writing, painting or creative work.
Hence, a doctor in the armed forces, writer & painter, the new kid around the block.
Being the simple, regular girl next door, her likes are very much encompassed by little miracles of life… She is an ardent believer of live, love & laugh trying to find happiness in the tiny, daily forgotten bundles of joy… She loves a morning dew blanketing the sleeping surroundings, a pluviophile who loves raindrops that hit off the barren earth emanating the fragrence of fresh minerals & soil, a combination of helio & opacarophile loving every outburst of sunrays specifically at dusk , which then wraps her up to being an astrophile looking out at the dazzling stars that scatter the inevitable black, dark sky.. Anu finds it addictive diving into books & splashing colors over a blank canvas… She enjoys snapping shots of nature, trying to capture the perfect moment of a heartbeat in a single click of camera lens. Above all, she loves her dad, her family , love & loved ones. “Wearing my heart on my sleeve & brain somewhere between my cranium & mouth, is pretty much myself in a nutshell” as she says.
She is a rebel against social norms, preordained dogmas that dictate life on how it should be. Anu also despises pretense & selfishness, actively disliking hierarchy based context of any daily living practice…
- Awarded the United Nations Peace Keeping Medal & Honorary certificate for contributions as UN ambassador & medical officer in 2020.
- Awarded Honorary certificate for being apart of the UNIFIL COVID-19 Crisis team in 2020
- Awarded Honorary certificates for being the representing speaker of Malaysia in the International Virtual Symposium of Adversities & Strategies of Handling COVID-19 in area of operation organised by Vietnamese Defence Ministry & UNDPKO & CUNPKO India.
- Participating speaker & joint organiser for curbing Malaria outbreak amongst military personnel in collaboration with The Johore State Health Department of Infectious Disease & Entomology in 2018
- First prize in Notion Press International Short Stories writing Competition 2018.
- Published as joint author along with 19 other authors in Plotpourri, an anthology of short stories by Notion Press in 2018.
- Successfully completed first Solo Art Exhibition entitled “Hridhaya : The Language of Heartbeats” in 2019
- Published debut novel venture entitled “Dear Manusha” under the publication house of Notion Press in 2019
- First runner up in the 7th Indie’s Author Championship by Notion Press in 2023
- Awardee of Sheroes Nari Samman 2023 Award by TWIC-PWP
- Awardee of Banabhatta Saahityik Puraskaar 2023 Award by Cherrybook Awards & Digital Golgappa
- Awardee of Pratibha Samman 2023 Award by SheForward Official
- Awardee of Bharat Bhushan Ratna Samman 2023 by PWP.
- Nominee for Maharishi Valmiki Bharathiya Samman 2023 Award by Cherrybook Awards
- Awardee of Inspiring Indians 2023 by BharatGuild
- Nominee of Litfest 2023 & Author of the Year 2023 by Ne8x Litfest
Felicia Yap (born November 1980) is a Malaysia-born author who has made her way to the hearts of readers across all states of India. Her debut novel, a thriller titled Yesterday, was the subject of a bidding war by publishers.
Felicia Yap seems to be a Jill of all trades, having been a cell biologist, war historian, university lecturer, technology journalist, theatre critic, flea-market trader, and catwalk model.
Her latest offering, Future Perfect, is an electrifying whodunit mystery-thriller to solve a murder before it’s too late. Kicking off at a fashion show where a model has just been killed on the catwalk, the story follows a police commissioner as he races against time to catch the culprit, who may strike again.