One of our collections housed here at Brunel as part of the SALIDAA (South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive) archives include a collection of work by the writer Maya Chowdhry. It is proving to be an inspirational resource for teaching creative writing.
Maya Chowdhry grew up in Scotland. She began as a film maker, but went on to write short fiction, poetry and plays. Her experience includes running workshops for young people and a residency in a theatre. She is an interactive artist, who uses modern media to make her work more accessible. Chowdhry has written on the experiences of Asian women, and on lesbian relationships.
Our collection focuses on her work as a writer for the theatre. It includes some of her play scripts, and extracts from her plays. We are fortunate to have some of her writer’s notebooks. These show the research behind her writing, and how it develops. The notebook for “Tara” has drawings, photocopies, photographs, postcards, her poems, notes, and diary entries. She writes pages that explore the characters and the story that she is creating.
This archive has recently been catalogued and now appears on Archives Hub. As well as being of interest to researchers of Asian literature and the experiences of Asian women, it also gives a valuable insight into the process of creative writing.