However, if one were to look at the market for teen fiction or juvenile fiction as it is also called, it is obvious that there is a thriving demand for books of this age-group.
The market for teen fiction in India is huge. Ameya Nagarajan of Penguin says, ‘The reason is simply that there are more and more urban educated kids with parents who can and do buy them books. The problem is that it’s very tricky to get it right, because you’re also looking at a market that’s seen a lot of imported writing, and is generally slightly prejudiced against homegrown stuff.’
There are many writers using English in exciting ways, as it lives and breathes in the Indian milieu. But ‘beautiful’ writing is not enough. These writers should claim the space that these genres offer for vibrant narratives/stories of the unheard and the unseen.’ Stating that this is an ‘extremely favourable time to be writing for this age-group’, Priya points out that the landscape for teen fiction has changed over the years. Several writers – Indian and from the diaspora – are exploring new themes that ‘reflect the child’s need for an identifiable context’. Authors like Ranjit Lal, Paro Anand and Urmila Mahajan have taken on challenging issues like female infanticide, incest, drug abuse, communal violence and more. Priya says that several children who are voracious readers tend to move into reading regular adult fiction, so writing for this age-group is challenging.
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