Penguin Random House has unveiled its inaugural list for its South East Asia arm featuring 93 titles.
Headquartered in Singapore, the new publishing arm launched on February 15th, with its first list of 93 books featuring writers from 10 countries across fiction, non-fiction, children's and learning according to Star2.com.
The South East Asia publishing arm launch was revealed last October, with a view to discover and publish local and international voices across English-language adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction formats for Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and Myanmar (Burma).
Over the next few years, PRH SEA aims to build up to around 500 titles. While the titles it is publishing so far are in English, it is also looking at translating works into other languages.
In the first list, some prominent themes in the works include war and diaspora, as well as cause-driven stories for children.
Singapore-based authors are featured, such as urban murder mystery by Krishna Udayasankar, a short story collection on diaspora by Elaine Chiew and a comic novel on Bishan beauty parlours by journalist Akshita Nanda. Additionally there are titles by Indonesian novelist Laksmi Pamuntjak, Indian writer Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, who won the British Betty Trask Award for debut novels and Filipino journalist Rene Acosta, who has written about the war on terror in the Philippines.
The newly installed chief executive Penguin Random House India and South East Asia (SEA) Gaurav Shrinagesh told Star2 that Singapore was chosen as the venture’s headquarters because geographically, it is “perfectly placed to access the region”.
He added: “We want to provide authors a platform to engage with a larger readership within the Asian community and potentially look at how to give them voices internationally.”
The Singapore office is fronted by executive editor Nora Nazerene Abu Bakar who has 13 years of publishing experience with publishers such as Marshall Cavendish Education.
She said she receives between three and six manuscripts a week and looks in particular for stories with a South-East Asian context.