The Whole Kahani

Reshma Ruia is a co-founder of The Whole Kahani (The Complete Story), a collective of British fiction writers of South Asian origin. The group was formed in 2011 to provide a creative perspective that straddles cultures and boundaries. Its aim is to give a new voice to British Asian fiction and increase the visibility of South Asian writers in Britain.

Tongues and Bellies

The Whole Kahani writers’ collective guest post by Reshma Ruia in the Asian Books Blog, featuring the collective’s newly published third anthology Tongues and Bellies.

May We Borrow Your Country

‘Reshma Ruia’s complex, bitter sweet story A Simple Man explores ‘the double helix of honour and shame that postcolonial subjects inherit as a bad strand of DNA. The story gives us Pikku, an Indian immigrant working in a London museum, trying to commit an impossible crime.’ Preti Taneja writing in the Foreword of the Anthology.

‘Another assertive voice is Reshma Ruia’s. In her poem, ‘Dinner Party in the Home Counties’, she recalls those innocuous questions every migrant has fielded, which actually mean: What are you doing here, when you clearly don’t belong? The woman at the dinner party silently fingers the paisley on her silk shawl, but inside she declares her right to claim this slice of sky, plant her flag, and sow her seed.’ The Hindu Newspaper, February 16, 2019 

Shame and displacement lead to an unexpected end in this short story from an all-women, 21 January 2019

The writing is superb throughout.’ Tracy Fells in The Literary Pig and on Goodreads

Belonging and inclusion are the themes which bind together this offering of short stories and poems from The Whole Kahani, a collective of award-winning female writers of British-Asian origin.’ Jane Wallace in Asian Review of Books

The stories and poems form the beginnings of a picture of what it means to be British and of South Asian origin, what it means to have more than one set of cultural expectations, more than one home. Though the stories and poems offer many different perspectives, there is an overall feeling of pensiveness…

The book was launched on Saturday January 26th 2019 at Waterstones, Gower Street, London.

If you haven’t already got a copy May We Borrow Your Country, buy it now at Linen Press, Foyles, WaterstonesAmazon UK, Amazon US or Amazon India.

The photographs below are from the launch, and in the first, Reshma is with the acclaimed author Preti Taneja who wrote the Foreword and spoke passionately about the need for inclusivity and diversity.

Sunday 3 October | 2.30 – 3.30pm | Durham Town Hall
Discussing borders, displacement and disquiet with a wonderful audience at Durham Book Festival 2019. Happy to be back again with our second anthology, May We Borrow Your Country.


Sunday 3 February | 12pm – 2pm | Wolverhampton Art Gallery – Contemporary Gallery | Free Entry
Mona Dash, Nadia Kabir Barb and Reshma Ruia from The Whole Kahani will read from their new anthology, May We Borrow Your Country, as part of their Midlands launch in the Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2019.

Love Across A Broken Map

‘This unsettling collection is laden with remarkable stories.’’ Mona Arshi.

An eclectic mix of short stories explores love and loss across the dividing lines of culture, race and ethnicity. Love is celebrated, broken and forgotten, embraced and remembered in this collection of stories of heartbreak and resilience.

Buy Love Across A Broken Map at Amazon or at Dahlia Publishing.

Winter Warmers: Stories about Love Imperfect by The Whole Kahani
Tuesday 21 November 2017 | 6.30 – 9.30pm
Yurt Cafe, St Katharine’s Precinct, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS
Writers: Alex Caan, Mona Dash, Kavita A Jindal, C.G. Menon, Reshma Ruia

Durham Book Festival
The Whole Kahani  | Reading and discussing Love Across A Broken Map |14 October 2017 | 4.00 – 5.00pm
Durham Town Hall (Burlison Gallery), Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ
Writers: Mona Dash, Kavita A Jindal, Reshma Ruia


LSE ‘Space for Thought’ Literary Festival 2017
Writing Short Stories and Poetry: From Laptop to Bookshop
Are Two Heads Better Than One?
25 February 2017 | 12 – 1.15 pm
Alumni Theatre | LSE | London
Speakers: Kavita A Jindal, Reshma Ruia, C.G. Menon

LIBRARY club, Covent Garden, London
The Whole Kahani | Love Across A Broken Map
24 January 2017 | 7:00 pm
112 St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4BD

Manchester Literature Festival 2016
The Whole Kahani. Love Across A Broken Map
16 October 2016 | 12.00pm
Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER
Readings: Kavita A Jindal, Radhika Kapur, Shibani Lal, Iman Qureshi and Reshma Ruia.

Love Across A Broken Map | 26 May 2016 | 6.00pm
The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF: Readings from the anthology by ‘The Whole Kahani’ collective.

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