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.


Ashwin Sanghi

Ashwin Sanghi is one of India's five highest selling English fiction authors.

Often referred to as India's 'Dan Brown,' he has written three best selling historical thrillers, including The Rozabal Line, Chanakya's Chant and The Krishna Key.

Chanakya's Chant won the Crossword-Vodafone Popular Choice Award in 2011 and UTV-Disney is currently developing a movie based on the story. The book has been in Nielsen's Indian Top-10 for over two years continuously.

Ashwin's third novel, The Krishna Key, released in August 2012, entered the Nielsen rankings at number one and has been in the Top-10 ever since. He is currently working on his new book, an Indian-based thriller, with the world's biggest selling author, James Patterson, for release in 2014.

Ashwin can be contacted at or via his blog at

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Ashwin Sanghi on James Rattray

Anjum Hasan

Anjum Hasan is the author of two novels which have been praised for the way in which they bring to vivid life the tensions of life in modern India. Her first novel Lunatic in My Head was shortlisted for the 2007 Crossword Fiction Award, and her second Neti Neti (Not This, Not This) was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and shortlisted for the Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010. Earlier this year, her collection of stories Difficult Pleasures was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize.

Anjum is also considered one of the leading poets of her generation. Her collection Street on the Hill was published in 2006 to international acclaim. She has also been featured in several anthologies of Indian poetry and has contributed reviews, short fiction and travel pieces for Tehelka, Mint Lounge, Hindu Literary Review, First City and Outlook Traveller.

Anjum is currently the literary editor of the journal, The Caravan.

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Anjum Hasan on John Tenniel

Ashok K Banker

Ashok K. Banker's eight volume Ramanyana Series has become the most popular English-language retelling of the ancient Sanskrit poem, despite the fact that he was told by numerous publishers that there was no demand for Indian mythology in English. 

Since then The New York Times has credited him with making mythology the most successful category in Indian publishing. His books have sold over 1.8 million copies and been published in 13 languages and 57 countries to worldwide acclaim, making him India's most successful epic storyteller. He is also India's first ebook publisher.

He can be contacted at: and his work can be found at

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Ashok K Banker on Noah Bradley