Jaya Padmanabhan is a journalist, essayist, and fiction writer. She is a director at Ethnic Media Services, an organization dedicating to vitalizing the ethnic media sector with cross-cultural collaborations and projects to promote inclusive public discourse. She writes an immigration column for the San Francisco Examiner and contributes to other local and community publications periodically. Jaya has consistently won awards for her editorials and essays: SF Press Club Awards: 2014 to 2017 and grants and fellowships for feature reporting: Tracking Hate, Environmental Health, Foreclosure crisis. She is the author of "Transactions of Belonging,” a collection of short stories published in 2014. Jaya is a member of SF Writers’ Grotto (sfgrotto.org). She holds a position on the board of Narika (narika.org) - addressing domestic violence in the south asian community.

San Francisco Press Club Awards 2018
First Place - "Now and Then column: Memories, Immigration and Assimilation," India Currents (Digital Media, Columns-Features)

Second Place - "Dare to Speak Up?" India Currents (Digital Media, Columns-Features)

Third Place - "In Brown Type column: The politics of immigration and race," San Francisco Examiner (Newspapers-Daily, Columns-News/Political)

The Audacity of My Secularism
• Editorial, India Currents • Published on  June 2, 2016
At a dinner recently, the conversation drifted to the politics of religion in India.

Waiting to inhale: The curious incidence of tears and laughter at death • The Hindu • Published on January 19, 2018
Remembering the day my father died.

- San Francisco Examiner

- India Currents


Transactions of Belonging
The short stories in the collection blend emotion and introspection.


I would recommend this book to any short story lover. The stories are not straightforward thereby doesn’t take the reader for granted. The reader is made to think. Imagine. Expand the story in his/her mind. One of the best short story collections that I have read recently. - Booxoul review - April 16, 2018

Goodreads reviews:


"The minute the book reaches your hand you think about the two eyes, wonder what secret might be lurking in them, wonder what questions they are raising and wonder why half the face is hidden.

When you start reading and finish each story, you realise why the face is not revealed. The face could be yours or mine, the story could be his or hers. The 12 stories are very humane and some of them very disturbing and hauntingly beautiful.”

"This book is a collection of 12 short stories of all varieties. Though this is her debut, the author easily manages to imprint in our minds her flair for evoking an epiphany at the end of every story. With extreme attention to detail, she intricately describes her scenes and characters that is a trademark of a good author. Similarly, her acute insights into the workings of the human mind are clearly evident in her characters and their development. The diversity in her characters and her narration makes each character different from one another. The best thing about author Jaya Padhmanabhan’s stories are the way they end. Most of them are left open for the reader’s to interpret, similar to her book’s title.

My favorites of these stories are: The Blue Arc that tells the story of a young sex worker who seeks the path of liberation, Neiappams – just the character Sankar made me love this story, His Curls – A story of how a mom sees her son’s growth from innocence to violence, helplessly, and Curtains Drawn – a somber story on how a child’s innocence can be destroyed by the thoughtless actions and ignorance of his parents.

One of the best books from Indian authors that I have read recently, put this book on your To-Read list without fail.”

Hemant Kumar Jain:
"An interesting set of stories.
Intense, Unpredictable, even Strange at times.
Enjoyed reading them"


� 2013 Jaya Padmanabhan. All Rights Reserved