Who we are
Jacaranda is a boutique literary agency working out of Singapore and Bangalore, India. We represent a diverse list of fiction and non-fiction from across Asia, and in particular a growing list of fiction from South East Asia. Our list includes authors from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. We also represent many authors from further afield, including the US, UK, Kenya, and Australia, making us a truly international agency.
Our list is varied and eclectic and we represent a mix of both established and debut authors. We work with both fiction and non-fiction. For fiction we are in particularly looking for literary fiction, good commercial fiction, women’s writing, crime, fantasy & science fiction. Recently we have been working on a small but growing list of translated fiction from across South East Asia and we also represent a small number of translators. Our non-fiction list comprises some memoir and travel writing as well as health & well being, lifestyle and business, but we will also take on unique books about unusual subjects that catch our imagination!
Jayapriya Vasudevan has over twenty years experience of working in publishing, during which time she has ‘done it all’. Born in Calcutta, into a family of writers, she studied literature at college and went on to work for several publishers, where she learned the business first hand – from editing to sales and distribution. Spotting a gap in the market, she and a partner set up India’s first bookstore cafe in Bangalore. It was here that she began to organise literary salons, inviting up to fifteen authors at a time to speak. Bookseller magazine hailed her as “one of India’s most dynamic booksellers".
In 1997 Jayapriya founded Books@Jacaranda literary agency which last year celebrated its Twentieth Anniversary. Under her leadership Jacaranda has continued to grow its diverse list of authors. During the past two decades Jayapriya has spent several stints living overseas, first in Beijing and latterly in Singapore and Nairobi. Each new country gave her the opportunity for her to meet new authors and make new connections.
Jayapriya has spoken at literary festivals all over Asia, from Istanbul and India to Manila and Singapore and further afield in London and Frankfurt. Recently she returned to India to live and was appointed the Festival Director of the Times of India Literary Festival 2017 and subsequently 2018.
Helen joined Jacaranda as a partner in 2013. Originally from the UK she started her publishing career in London at Curtis Brown Literary Agency, where she was assistant to one of the senior agents. She was at the same time one of the agency’s readers, responsible for reading manuscripts languishing on the ‘slush pile’. During this time she also worked as a reader for Piatkus Books. Helen went on to work as a book publicist for Belinda Harley Associates where she promoted a range of titles from leading UK publishing houses – helping to devise and implement publicity campaigns for a number of high profile books including Michael Chabon’s ‘The Mysteries of Pittsburgh’, Andrew Morton’s controversial biography of Princess Diana: ‘Diana: Her True Story’, Whitley Streiber’s ‘Communion’ and ‘A Cradle of Haloes: Sketches of a Childhood’, a memoir by Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Helen has lived overseas with her family for many years, before moving to Singapore she lived in Budapest, Warsaw and Taipei.