Malavika Kannan is an Indian-American novelist, feminist writer, and political activist raised in the suburbs of Central Florida. Written when she was seventeen, Malavika’s award-winning debut novel, The Bookweaver’s Daughter, is a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship.
In the ancient Indian kingdom of Kasmira, stories don’t begin with “once upon a time.”
Instead, Kasmiris start a woman’s story with those who came before her: her parents, grandparents, ancestors. For fourteen-year-old Reya Kandhari, her story always starts the same: with the fabled line of Bookweavers, tracing centuries back to the lost Yogis—the mythical guardians of Kasmiri culture who created the world itself. As a result, Reya’s entire life has been shaped by words. Words of mystique and mythology. Words of magic that allow her father, the Bookweaver, to bring his stories to life. Words of power that make him the target of tyrants who will stop at nothing to destroy magic in Kasmira.
Living in disguise as a peasant in the fields, Reya’s sole focus is protecting the Bookweaver’s secret. But when her father is taken, Reya must flee deep into the jungle, alone with her best friend Nina and one ancient book. Grappling with Reya’s newfound magic, the two girls find themselves in the center of a war of liberation where magic reigns unchecked, and destiny takes a dark turn. As the stakes get higher, Reya realizes that her father’s legacy contains more power than she ever imagined. For Reya Kandhari is more than just a fugitive—she is a symbol of revolution. And that makes her a threat.
In a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship, Reya must pass the final test: the Bookweaver’s daughter must weave her own destiny. The fate of Kasmira depends on it.
Malavika Kannan is an Indian-American novelist, feminist writer, and political activist raised in the suburbs of Central Florida. She wrote her award-winning debut novel, The Bookweaver’s Daughter, when she was seventeen years old. Malavika is currently an undergraduate at Stanford University. A relentless advocate for girls changing the world, Malavika uses stories to speak truth to power and disrupt narratives. Her writing about race, culture, politics, and identity appears in HuffPost, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, NYLON, Vice, Refinery29, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Stanford Daily. Her essays about gun violence and women of color in literature have reached millions of readers, and in 2018 her HuffPost essay went viral, exploring the Indian-American experience with empathy and humor. Malavika’s writing has won accolades from Scholastic Art & Writing, YoungArts, and the Library of Congress, among other places. Beyond the page, Malavika is a nationally-recognized activist for women’s rights and youth empowerment. She has organized historic political campaigns for Women’s March, Giffords, and March For Our Lives, including #NationalSchoolWalkout, the largest single-day youth-led protest in American history. She is founder of Homegirl Project, a girl-led organization that empowers female-identifying youth of color to become political leaders. Homegirl Project has served thousands of girls nationwide through its storytelling, mentorship, and political training programs. When she’s not writing stories or mobilizing youth to change the world, Malavika enjoys beaching, snacking, thrifting, tweeting, reading, and calling her representatives. You can keep up with her at malavikakannan.com.