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South-Asia focused publishing house, Sambasivan and Parikh is a newly minted merger between two houses, Yali Books and Modern Marigold books. These are women-led publishing houses committed to finding diverse stories. We spoke to founders, Ambika and Suhani to learn about their journey and the industry growth they have witnessed.

Yali books began publishing South-Asia focused books since 2014. They have been a part of showcasing underrepresented voices for the last decade. Both Ambika and Suhani began their journeys as self-published storytellers who later expanded to traditional publishing. They share stories that are rooted in identity and talk about the desi experience.

Ambika and Suhani also talk through their approach, goals, and mission as publishers. They share the types of stories they’re hoping to tell. Too often South-Asian experienced are lumped into one when there is so much diversity. By finding ways to focus on micro-communities, they hope to bring stories which talk of universal emotions.

While the representation of South-Asian books has gone up partly led by self-publishing, they is a long road to go. People with access and privilege are usually finding ways to share stories. However, those bound by traditional barriers that are still left out. It’s something everyone can participate in to change. Whether by reading books from independent writers, publishers, or by supporting Indie publishers, or by sharing our stories, we can make a difference!

Kitabi Qisse is focused on belonging and identity in the first half of 2024! This is season 2. Listen to previous episodes here.


About S&P, Ambika and Suhani

Sambasivan & Parikh is a women-led publishing company on a mission to champion stories that center the voices of underrepresented communities. Through the books and resources published under their imprints, Yali Books and Modern Marigold Books, Sambasivan & Parikh creates spaces for education by offering culturally rooted perspectives, placing tools for social change in the hands of educators, families, and community advocates. Yali Books opens windows to South Asian cultures through stories that center equality, equity, and justice. Modern Marigold Books aims to inspire social and emotional growth rooted in identity.

Suhani Parikh is a second-generation, Indian-American mom of three, and entrepreneur based in Upstate NY. Her experience growing up with alopecia areata led her to write her debut book “Shreya’s Very own Style” and launch her publishing company, Modern Marigold Books in 2019.

Ambika Sambasivan discovered her love for crafting books as an illustrator and launched Yali Books with her mother, Kala Sambasivan in 2014. Ambika is passionate about shaping stories that reflect and validate the experiences of children of color, particularly those of South Asian descent, through relatable and inspiring stories.

suhani and ambika headshot Kitabi Qisse featuring sambavisan and parikh