KISMUTH BOOKS is a boutique publishing house based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. ‘We are connecting the world of writers, artists, creatives, and readers by gathering and sharing your stories, in hosted online space, one designful moment at a time. Bigtalk, not smalltalk, for this.’ —Kismuth Books founder Dipika Kohli


Discover the philosophy of Kismuth Books in this short talk by Dipika Kohli. A metaphysical jam session, partly improvised, tons of fun. ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left’ at TEDx >


  • ‘And while it might be possible to create one’s own destiny, the lesson we can learn from this book is that it is folly to try to create someone else’s.’ —Kate Allison, The Displaced Nation. Read the full review of The Elopement
  • ‘Meaning is not manufactured. It is experienced.’ —Aaron Mandel, Clarion Content. Read the full review of The Elopement
  • The Dive is listed as a resource at this amazing website, A Heartbreaking Choice, which exists solely to support those who have terminated a much wanted pregnancy.
  • ‘Somehow, Dipika folds you into her head and her world with ease, even in the most difficult of situations. Anyone who has ever judged another person in the throes of a difficult situation should read this book. She reminds us all of our humanity, and how easy it is to underestimate another’s pain with a beautiful description of a complicated time. Wonderful writing, vivid scene setting of the place. I was strapped in once the pregnancy began and barely came up for air.’ —Anne, on Kindle >
  • ‘It takes courage to tell your own story of pregnancy loss with such honesty and openness. I can only hope that someone going through the same situation will find this story and take comfort knowing they are not alone. So many people go through miscarriage or termination of pregnancy without turning to their friends or family for support, so it’s all the more important to have memoirs like this one to help people connect. Bravo!’ –Jessica, on Kindle >
  • ‘I must say first that this genre of book is typically not my style. But I took a chance after hearing the author interviewed on public radio. The author paints amazing pictures of her travels and landscapes. She tells a story of a young woman finding her way despite her families wishes. She leads the reader on an adventure around the world from a small town in NC to India, Japan, New York, and Ireland. She talks about her thoughts and struggles about leading the life she chose for herself and her husband to be and all of the family dynamics. All of this in a very short quick read. Dipika is a rare author and person that is wildly authentic in her writing. I am sure we will see more from this author in the future.’ –Victor Jimenez, on Kindle >
  • ‘This is a great book. I gulped it up end to end in a few hours, just could not stop. Dipika takes us through the struggles of her character Karin, her choices and their implications as she faces them in most disparate scenarios: the rustic town of Cork, the deserts of Rajasthan, streets of Tokyo and suburbs of North Carolina. A must read for anyone who enjoys traveling, or who wonders about second choices or simply if you want a good read. Very well done!’ –PK, on Kindle
  • ‘After I purchased The Elopement I had totally planned to read it all in one go, when I had more “free time”, but then I started it on my phone to “test” it, because I’d not read a book on my phone before. Since then I read it here and there during the day… and it’s been incredible! What comes through the most is the personality of the author and truly feeling her perspective as she goes through this collage of beautiful and heartwarming(-breaking) incidents. The somewhat conversational style and the painterly touches of language really enrich what is already a non-traditional story of this type. The artistry of the language is matched only by the truthfulness to the emotional journey the author has been through. If you’re a fan of good travel writing, poetic prose, and personal essays/memoir of the type where the aesthetics of a scene are just as important as its recitation of events and their details, then you’ll love this book. Like me you’ll find yourself wishing to visit the Ireland, India, and Japan all at once, if only to see your familiar spaces in a new light when you return home. I’m really looking forward to the next one!’ –Tim S., on Kindle >
  • ‘Dipika is a author who clearly has been writing for years. Her ability to illustrate a particular moment, object, or emotion is amazing. Her writing style is different than what I am accustomed to reading. Its almost poetic. As the reader you can expect to gain insight into the mind, heart and soul of a Woman who lives life passionately and purposely. Also, Dipika does a nice job at outlining the good and not so pretty reality of what it means to defy cultural norms.’ -Anonymous, on Kindle >
  • ‘This book offers genuine insight into what it feels like to be a young woman who follows her heart around the globe rather than following the “shoulds.” What it’s like to be a second generation Indian American who steps outside the lines. And what it’s like to be a person crafting a life for herself on a narrow, winding, and often confusing path, rather than sleepily following the broad highway paved by expectations and convention. It was definitely a unique page-turner. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I’m looking forward to the next installment!’ – K., on Kindle >
  • ‘I look forward greatly to reading anything by this Kamal di punjabi kurri. Please support her extraordinary journey through life and be rewarded!! ‘—Poonam Singh, editor Preetlarhi Magazine
  • ‘I really connected with Kanishka. Life, to me, is also all about connections among all of us, but also connections we make in our mind among events and happenstance, and the things we learn from their resonance.’ —Eric Frederick (see full note in the comments at this page about Kanishka)

About Kismuth Books

KISMUTH BOOKS founder Dipika Kohli‘s 2014-15 columns for two outlets (Seattle community paper Northwest Asian Weekly and Charlotte, NC-based Saathee Magazine) planted the seeds for Kismuth’s 2016 release, The Village Report..

Kohli was a reporter for a daily in Seattle (2004-5) and a weekly in southwest Ireland (2002-4), but turned to writing first-person eBooks in 2012 with the launch of The Elopement (Kismuth // 2012).

But sharing honest stories from the heart wasn’t new to her. Before and after mainstream journalism work, she’d published short, infrequent essays in first person in a mix of small, community-oriented publications. In outlets like: the Irish American Post, J@pan Inc., the Urban Hiker in Durham NC, AbroadView Magazine, Jade Dragon Online, and Metro Eireann, sustainability blog ‘This Big City,’ the Bay Area’s Noe Valley Voice and a printed anthology called Sisters Born Sisters Found. Ahead of the release of Kanishka (Kismuth // 2015), Kohli shared an exclusive essay, ‘The Death of Childhood,’ with Dying Matters. It’s an essay about childhood bereavement, which you can read online here >.

‘I would have liked to publish my stories in more mainstream outlets and reach more people,’ acknowledges Kohli. ‘But I don’t think many curators and publishers at big outlets are interested in voices of the variety I knew I had to work on writing my way towards. So I just kept writing what I wanted, the way I wanted, and now there is Kismuth Books. It’s for the likes of people who, like me, are interested in honest stories from the heart. Non-agenda driven, and supported by memberships and co-creative participation. I’d like to keep working to bring new voices together for short ePublished anthologies like The Mirror (Kismuth // 2014). These kinds of short collections that are honest, bridge people across categories, and show us who we really are. As human beings, not ‘types’ or ‘personas’ for other people to market to. We can do this. We have the technology now to meet and connect, directly. Let’s see what happens?’

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