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.


Uma Krishnaswami

Uma Krishnaswami was born in New Delhi where she had her first poem published in a children's magazine aged 13. She later emigrated to the United States where she has become a major voice in the expansion of multicultural children's literature with her acclaimed adaptations of myths from India and around the world.

She also teaches in the MFA/Writing for Young Children and YA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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Uma Krishnaswami on Nasrin Khosravi

Thrity Umrigar

Thrity Umrigar is an Indian American writer who was born in Bombay, now Mumbai, and emigrated to the United States when she was 21. She is an award-winning journalist - including the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University - and the author of a memoir and five acclaimed novels about the south Asian experience. Her most recent title, The World We Found, was featured by Oprah last year. 

She is currently professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

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Thrity Umrigar on Vincent Van Gogh

Jamila Gavin

Jamila Gavin is a British writer, born in Mussoorie, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. She has written more than fifty titles for children aged six to sixteen and has been shortlisted for every major children's writing prize, including the Carnegie Medal. In 2000, she won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year for 'Coram Boy,' which was subsequently adapted for the stage at the National Theatre in London, before transferring to Broadway.

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Jamila Gavin on Amanda Hall