Bidisha is a writer and broadcaster who also does outreach work in UK detention centres and prisons. She has been a 2013 Fellow for the International Reporting Project, reporting on global health and development together with Johns Hopkins University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her fourth book was the internationally acclaimed and bestselling reportage Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path Through Palestine (May 2012). As of spring 2013 she is a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation. Her fifth book, Asylum and Exile: The Hidden Voices of London was published in March 2015 and based on her outreach work with asylum seekers and refugees.
Bidisha began writing for arts magazines i-D, Oyster, Volume, Dazed and Confused and the NME at 14. She signed her first book deal, with HarperCollins, at 16. Her first novel, Seahorses, was published to commercial and critical success when she was 18. During this time she also had regular opinion columns in The Big Issue magazine and The Independent. Bidisha's second novel, the thriller Too Fast to Live, was published when she was 21. Bidisha then lectured in Political Theory, was a contributing editor of the women's magazine Sibyl and style magazine 2nd Generation and edited and art directed the style magazine The Stealth Corporation. Her third book, the bestselling travel memoir Venetian Masters, was published in February 2008. She currently writes for The Guardian, the Financial Times, Mslexia, The Observer, New Statesman, New Humanist, The List, Arise and various publications in the Middle East. From the end of 2010 to early 2012 she had a weekly column in The Guardian called Bidisha's Thought for The Day.
Bidisha is also a presenter for BBC TV, Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service. She is a regular guest on BBC Two's Newsnight Review (now The Review Show), Sunday Morning Live and The Big Questions. For BBC Radio 4 she contributes regularly to Saturday Review and Woman's Hour, both of which she has guest presented, and Front Row, and has presented Archive on Four, Heart and Soul as well as various other documentaries and series. Standalone docs have included Texting Andy Warhol, on the role of text in art (R4); An Unofficial Iris, a study of Iris Murdoch's work and legacy (R4); an investigation into Jung's Red Book (R3); The Countertenor, a highly acclaimed exploration of the countertenor voice for Radio 4; The Secret Life of Books: Jane Eyre for BBC4 and The Noble British Art of Complaining for Radio 4. Bidisha was the regular presenter of BBC Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Night Waves. On the World Service she guest presented the books programme The Word and was the presenter of the flagship arts show, The Strand.
She has judged the following arts prizes: The Orange Prize (2009), The John LLewellyn Rhys Prize (2010), BBC World Cinema Awards (2010), the Comment awards (2012), Bristol Short Story Prize (2012 and 2013), Polari Prize (2012-2015), Foyles Book of Ideas Prize (2012) the Somerset Maugham Prize (2013 - 2014); the Wasafiri prize for new writing (2014) and the One World Media Prize for journalism (2015). She is a patron of the SI Leeds Literary Prize, the Panda Performing Arts Network, the London Feminist Film Festival and, as of 2013, a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation.
Bidisha is represented by Kelly Falconer. Her formal name is Bidisha SK Mamata but she has always written, spoken and broadcast under her first name only.