By Neeti Nigam
The students of the University of Delhi will soon study author Chetan Bhagat’s first and bestselling novel Five Point Someone. The second-year undergraduate students will pursue this novel in the Popular Literature paper in the Generic Elective offered under the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS).
The paper is meant for non-English (Hons) students. Under CBCS, students from any stream who wish to take English as their elective subject can opt for Popular Fiction paper. However, the teaching community doesn’t seems happy with the novel’s inclusion. Read more
Source: The Indian Express
By Kanishka Gupta
The last few years have witnessed a deluge of mass market writers in India: Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, Sudeep Nagarkar and more recently, Savi Sharma and Ajay K Pandey. While many people attribute this trend to the unprecedented success of Chetan Bhagat’s debut novel Five Point Someone, others say that it is because of the country’s ever expanding young, aspiring reader base, which has an insatiable appetite for these light, undemanding reads.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that this brand of writing has completely changed the different aspects of publishing, be it commissioning, retail or marketing. Editors no longer acquire books in isolation or on the basis of their individual tastes, but in close consultation with a sales team.
“Until Neilsen arrived in India, very few people were aware of the mass market phenomenon that was going on. The communication channels between sales and editorial were also not that great,” Sachin Garg, a bestselling writer and publisher of Grapevine books told me. In fact, distributors only started taking Grapevine seriously once their author Durjoy Datta’s book debuted at number 3 on the Neilsen Charts. ‘The sales figure of a book started being used as a metric for acquisitions and books were acquired for reasons other than the traditional reason of it being a well told story from the editor’s POV,’ says Anish Chandy of Juggernaut Books. Read more
Source: First Post
By Ankita Ghosh
While we were busy reading mostly American and European authors to satiate our hunger for novels written in the English language, a quiet and cautious breed of writers were steadily reinventing the idea of English language novels for us, here in the heartland of the subcontinent.
The national capital has emerged as the most well-read city in India for the fourth consecutive year with Bengaluru and Mumbai taking the second and third spot, respectively, says a survey conducted by Amazon India.
Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘One Indian Girl’ emerged as the highest selling book of this year followed by JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II’.
The third spot is taken by exam preparation book ‘Word Power Made Easy’ written by Norman Lewis, Robin Sharma’s non-fiction ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ was at fourth position. Read more
Source: Huffington Post
The 35th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair will witness participation by an impressive line-up of Indian writers, actors, chefs and entrepreneurs. The region’s most anticipated book fair and cultural event will take place from November 2 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Among the celebrated names are Javed Akthar, a leading film script writer and lyricist, Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, authors Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Tharoor, Kanishk Tharoor, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and cinema personalities such as Mammootty, Shatrughan Sinha, Shilpa Shetty, and many others. Read more
Rupa’s chairman R.K. Mehra on the big changes and challenges in the publishing industry: The Outlook
‘Originality of idea, continuity of thought and a clear target market. Yes, Chetan Bhagat is one of the bestselling authors, but there are many such under Rupa’s banner. And what is important for us is not just big names; we ensure we take on everyone we think must be read. We don’t sell authors, authors sell us! Of course, we facilitate media interviews and book signing and other interactions, but that’s not much. Also, social media has a big role in book promotion.’
Editor’s note: This is the first of Asia Uncensored blog debates that we are kicking off our Blogs section with, curated by our blogs editor Rheea Mukherjee.
The influx of commercial fiction in India is an undeniable fact. Is it good? Is it bad? Two writers–Soumyadipta ‘Shom’ Biswas and Tanuj Solanki– share their perspectives on this volatile topic. We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject too!
All a person needs is the first good book
by Tanuj Solanki
I live and work in Bombay, and so, for me, traveling to my hometown Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh entails reaching Delhi first and then taking a bus or a train. For the Bombay to Delhi journey, I find the Rajdhani trains to be the best option, because of the overnight comfort and the promise of being able to squeeze in four hours of solid reading into the seventeen hour journey. In November 2014, I had, for personal reasons, to take three trips to visit my family there.
India, when left to its own devices, throws up a very different kind of writer, a man such as Chetan Bhagat, who, though he writes in English about things that are urgent and important — like life on campuses and in call centers — writes books of such poor literary quality that no one outside India can be expected to read them, writes Aatish Taseer in the New York Times
In my own world — the world of English writing and publishing in India — the language has wrought neuroses of its own. India, over the past three decades, has produced many excellent writers in English, such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh and Arundhati Roy. The problem is that none of these writers can credit India alone for their success; they all came to India via the West, via its publishing deals and prizes. Continue reading
Organizers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival have unveiled the final lineup of speakers at the 2015 festival, which is scheduled take place in Jaipur from Jan. 21 to 25.
On deck for South Asia’s best-known literary jamboree: Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, author of “A House for Mr. Biswas” and other novels; travel writers Paul Theroux and Elizabeth Gilbert, the latter of “Eat Pray Love” fame; British screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi; Indian author Chetan Bhagat; Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton; statistician and risk scholar Nicholas Nassim Taleb; Columbia University economist Arvind Panagariya; and more than 200 others. Continue reading