Who we are
Jacaranda is a boutique literary agency working out of Singapore, India, and the UK. 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, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. We also represent many authors from further afield, including from the US, UK, Kenya, and Australia, making us a truly international agency.
Our list is varied and eclectic, we represent a mix of both established and debut authors. We specialise in literary fiction, good quality commercial fiction, women’s writing, crime, fantasy & science fiction. Recently we have begun building a small but growing list of translated fiction from across South East Asia and we now represent a small number of translators. Our non-fiction list comprises some narrative non-fiction, memoir and travel writing as well as health & well-being, lifestyle, and business, but we also like to 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 first learned the ropes. During her time there her duties included reading some of the manuscripts languishing in the ‘slush pile’. At the same 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 over twenty years, before moving to Singapore she lived in Budapest, Warsaw and Taipei.
Smita has been in publishing for nearly fifteen years now. Having worked as a full-time editor with Rupa and Dorling Kindersley she has also worked on books for Random House and Jaico.
She began working with Jacaranda in 2017. Books, interactions with authors, and reading manuscripts remain her first love. For her, there is no bigger thrill than an acceptance email from a publishing house and no greater motivation than a well-written manuscript looking for a home. At Jacaranda, Smita has been working with award winning authors like Akshita Nanda, Laksmi Pamuntjak, and Shobha Tharoor.
Radhika graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in English Literature, Creative Writing, and History.
She has previously worked with the Feminist Press, W. W. Norton & Company, and Restless Books. She loves the magic of storytelling and hopes to help build a more equitable and radical future in global publishing and beyond. In her free time, she writes poetry and loves to read translated literature and novels-in-verse.