LeftWord Books is a New Delhi-based publishing house that seeks to reflect the views of the left in India and South Asia. We publish critical and analytical works on a range of subjects, and pay special attention to works on Marxist theory. We project the interests of the working people and movements for social transformation. Set up in 1999, LeftWord runs and manages May Day Bookstore and Café, which is next door to a theatre space, Studio Safdar LeftWord Books is the publishing division of Naya Rasta Publishers Pvt Ltd.
In case you have trouble finding us, please use the directions given below.
If you have a manuscript you'd like to share with us, write to Vijay or Sudhanva at:
If you have sales and marketing related queries, Suvendu will help you out:
If there's anything else you'd like to write to us about, send in an email to:
For issues related to any order(s) you've placed, please write to us at:
The LeftWord Story
At our 20th anniversary celebration this year, we took a look back at why we started, the challenges we faced, the friends we made and the fun we had. Big shout-out to Anoushka Mathews of NewsClick for this story.
Vijay Prashad on Teesta Setalvad's Memoirs
Vijay Prashad speaks on Teesta Setalvad's book, Foot Soldier of the Constitution: A Memoir. As the BJP demonised Teesta Setalvad, he says, we felt it was important for her to tell her own story, so that the real Teesta can be understood by people.
D. Rajendra Kumar
Rajendra manages our accounts. Which means he knows more about us than most of the other staff, even though he works part time and we don’t get to see him very often. Committed to social justice, he provides his valuable services to other progressive publications and organisations like People’s Democracy, Indian Writer’s Forum as well as AIDWA.
Manoj is our Store Manager. He handles our sales, purchases and orders, online or otherwise, ensures that invoices are generated and sent on time, that everything that needs to be dispatched gets dispatched, and that our stocks are properly maintained, among other things. He is also the person you’re likely to see if you visit our stalls during book fairs.
Md. Shahid Ansari
Shahid is our Accounts Assistant. He’s responsible for data entry and generating sales reports, making our lives easier. Also, if you’ve ever received a neatly packed book from LeftWord, you can thank him the next time you visit our store. After work, he goes home and, just as diligently, studies for the bachelor’s degree he is pursuing. But the thing we like most about him is his relentlessly cheerful demeanour.
Nazeef edits our English books after Vijay is done with them. He doesn’t have any interests or hobbies. If you are making him read anything you wrote, please refrain from using long sentences. And if you visit May Day and find him at his desk, please don’t make noise. He doesn’t like people much.
Purbasha divides her time between LeftWord and Tulika Books, where she has a much broader profile. But she takes care of some crucial business for us here, like sending out books for review, ensuring our weekly newsletter gets sent on time, and handling e-books. If you’re one of our authors, or a distributor or editor looking for an updated catalogue of our books, among other things, you’re most likely to deal with her. When she’s not working, she likes indulging her other interests – apart from reading, of course – painting, photography and travel. If Purbasha suggests a book to you, read it. Her book suggestions are highly underrated.
Shipra is our Hindi Editor. A doctorate in Hindi literature, she has worked as an assistant professor at Jamia Millia Islamia and then at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow. After a brief stint as a writer for The Lallantop and, simultaneously, a copy-editor at OddNaari, of the India Today Group, she decided to come work with us. She continues to write for various Hindi publications, both online and print.
Sreenath is our Bookstore Assistant. We count on him to do everything from curating our stock of books, looking after sales, assisting readers with books, helping Amit out managing our social media presence, and much else besides. Formerly an engineering student, he worked several jobs before joining us. And we’re glad he did. He always takes his coffee with Parle G. On most days, you can spot him in our bookstore either behind the counter or sitting on the floor with books all around him.
Sudhanva, our Managing Editor, is an actor and theatre director, who sometimes pretends to be a publisher. As the first employee of LeftWord Books back in 1999, he helped us get going. Then, when we moved into our current premises in 2011, he insisted, against common sense, on starting the May Day Bookstore. For a long time, he was the only editor at LeftWord. Now, his editorial responsibilities have reduced a bit, while his managerial responsibilities have gone up. The look of LeftWord is his doing. He doesn’t own a car, but he does have two beautiful bicycles, which are his primary mode of transport in Delhi. We believe he does occasional bit roles in Hindi films only so he can buy more bicycle gear. He can be reached at [email protected]
A foodie and pan-India food guide who doubles as our Marketing Manager, Suvendu is responsible for sales and marketing. That includes dealing with distributors, working with fraternal publishers whose books we sell, and who sell ours, the printing of our books, sourcing and allocating funds for our various operations, and the logistics of it all. And he won’t make you wait for a response to your marketing and sales related queries sent to [email protected] Simply put, he’s indispensable to LeftWord; partly because it is he who prepares and serves coffee and tea to us.
Vijay was one of the first authors we published, and he continues to be our most prolific author even after joining as Chief Editor. He is the writer and/or editor of about 20-odd books (give or take a few). Now, apart from LeftWord, he also heads Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. A tireless journalist, reporting from different parts of the globe for The Hindu, Frontline, BirGun and the Independent Media Institute, Vijay might actually be a set of half a dozen identical clones. We’re not sure. If you have editorial queries or want to submit a manuscript or proposal, write to [email protected] One of his clones will respond.