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India: Two upcoming festivals in Mumbai to focus on India’s regional literature

By Kaushani Banerjee

While there has been a rapid growth in the sheer number of literary festivals around the country, most of them tend to focus on English literature. International authors are often the star attractions at these events and there is often little or almost no spotlight for regional authors, who are left confined to school textbooks. But two homegrown festivals in the city are slowly working their way towards shifting focus to regional literature. Lit O Fest and Gateway LitFest, both in their third year, have a burgeoning line-up of authors who will engage in talks, panel discussions and book launches.

The Multicultural aspect

Lit O Fest is a not just a literature festival, it’s a multi-cultural event that will be held over two days. The usual panel discussions will be interspersed with dance and music performances. “It is a showcase of Indian culture focusing on arts, music and dance. This year, the festival has adopted a village in Maharashtra called Dahigaon and started a school in it as well. We plan to adopt other villages as well and make them self-sufficient. So it’s not just literature, it’s also literacy in rural India,” says festival director Smita Parikh.

Popular authors such as Anand Neelakantan, Shashi Tharoor, William Dalrymple, Ashwin Sanghi and Shatrujeet Nath will be in attendance. Renowned Hindi authors Kedarnath Singh and Uday Prakash will be felicitated this year at the festival. Read more

Source: Hindustan Times


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India: Delhi Is The Most ‘Well-Read’ City Of 2016 And Chetan Bhagat’s Book The Highest-Selling One

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.

According to the ‘Annual Reading Trends Report for 2016’ conducted by Amazon.in, Karnal, Vadodara and Patna are first-time entrants in the Top 20 list having bought more books than cities like Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow this year.

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


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Fly and Back: A poem by Varun Rajaram

Fly and Back

varun

Varun Rajaram has been writing poems since the age of 8. His first book of poems Reflections was published for a closed audience. His poems reflect the culture of places he has lived in – Kolkata, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Currently, Varun lives in Mumbai where he promotes the use of solar power through his business.


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Tata Lit Fest: Writers, thinkers and the spirit of debate in Mumbai

Come November, over 130 celebrated writers and thinkers from some 30 countries will converge at Mumbai’s biggest international literary festival, Tata Literature Live!

The illustrious first line-up for the seventh edition of the festival includes names like Amitav Ghosh, the Indian novelist who has examined the perils of ignoring climate change in his new book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable; Nicholas Shakespeare, literary critic and descendant of William Shakespeare; John Gray, political philosopher and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism; Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian and Padma Bhushan recipient; and Simon Armitage, the sardonically witty British poet, famous for the dramatisation of the Greek epic, The Odyssey.

“A literary festival in what is probably the world’s most vibrant city is sure to be hugely exciting. I very much look forward to it. I’ve had some memorable conversations in Mumbai. I’m looking forward to more,” said Amitav Ghosh about the festival which is set to sweep the city of Mumbai from 17-20 November. Read more


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Tata Literature Live festival: Talks, performances to feast on from November 17

Over 130 writers and thinkers like John Gray, Amitav Ghosh, Simon Armitage and former finance minister, P Chidambaram will be a part of the seventh edition of the Tata Literature Live! festival from November 17-20.

The festival will be held at two venues — the NCPA and Prithvi Theatre. Those listed for this edition include Nicholas Shakespeare, literary critic and descendant of William Shakespeare; John Gray, political philosopher and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism; Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian and Padma Bhushan recipient; Simon Armitage, the sardonically witty British poet, famous for the dramatisation of the Greek epic poem The Odyssey; former minister and writer, Jairam Ramesh, Girish Karnad, Keki Daruwalla, Kiran Nagarkar and Jayant Narlikar, besides Gulzar and Karan Johar. Read more


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Book Review: ‘Selection Day’ by Aravind Adiga

selection-day

Aravind Adiga has been writing about areas of darkness in India for a long time now. In the Booker Prize-winning ‘The White Tiger’ (2008), it was ‘India Unshining’; in Last ‘Man in Tower’ (2011), it was real estate; and now in ‘Selection Day’, he holds up the mirror to cricket, our national obsession.

Adiga chooses to place the story in Mumbai, home to one of the richest cricket boards in the world, master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, as well as the aspirations and dreams of an entire nation. He tells the story of 14-year-old Manjunath Kumar who is good at cricket—if not as good as his elder brother Radha. Read more

 


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Poetry festival in Delhi and Mumbai to promote Urdu Literature

The festival, has lined up acclaimed writers and poets from across borders and generations, and is spread over three days. In Delhi, it will be held on April 30 and May 3, and in Mumbai on May 2: DNA
Seeking to revive Urdu literature and setting forth a platform to encourage fresh litterateurs, both in Urdu and Hindi, Jashn-e-Adab Society for Poetry and Literature is organising the fourth Edition of the International Poetry festival in Delhi and Mumbai.

“Urdu, a generous mixture of languages like Persian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish is perhaps the only language that can be enjoyed even if you don’t understand it,” says Urdu Poet Kunwar Ranjeet Chauhan, who is also the Secretary of Jashn-e-Adab Trust.

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Slugfests and monologues at a lit fest

On a sparring bout with Rajdeep Sardesai, session on Saadat Hasan Manto with Javed Akhtar and more at the Times LitFest: Aakar Patel in Mint

And so off to Mumbai for the Times LitFest, that annual intellectual orgy put up by friends Bachi Karkaria and Namita Devidayal in Bandra and so looked forward to by this layabout. My first scrum was with Rajeev Sethi and Sunil Sethi for a session with the delightfully vague name “The Good, The Mediocre And The Downright Ugly”. I presumed it was about why India is such a shitty place but wasn’t really sure, and had no idea what the other two combatants had made of the thing. No matter, we threw ourselves into it. Continue reading


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India: Tata Lit Fest honours MT Vasudevan Nair, poet Joy Goswami

Other winners include Damon Galgut, Rana Dasgupta, Mahesh Rao and T M Krishna.

Renowned Malayalam writer MT Vasudevan Nair was honoured with the Life-time Achievement Award at the fifth ‘Tata Literature Live!, the largest literary festival of the megapolis on 2 November, in Mumbai, India.

The 81-year-old Nair, popularly known as “MT”, is one of the most renowned authors, screenplay writers and film directors in Malayalam today. In 1995, he was honoured with the highest literary award the Jnanpith Award for his overall contribution to the Malayalam literature.

The festival also bestowed the first Poet Laureate of India Award to renowned Bengali poet Joy Goswami, which marked the launch of the ‘silver edition’ of ‘The Great Indian Novel’ by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. Continue reading


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How Altaf Tyrewals chronicles lives in Mumbai

Mockery is Tyrewala’s style. The idea for the title story came to him when he saw hoardings with mangled spellings of hindi television serials: Mint

altafSitting in the seventh-floor canteen of Altaf Tyrewala’s office, situated in a high-rise glass building in Andheri, Mumbai, one mulls over the 37-year-old author’s reluctance to call himself a chronicler of the city of Mumbai. He shrugs. “I’m not a self-conscious city transcriber. I just need geography for my fiction, and this city happens to be it.”

Back in 2005, Tyrewala wore the mantle of chronicler with ease when he broke on to the literary scene with his first book, No God In Sight. The novel, if one may call it that, broke rules of form and content as it mapped several characters of Mumbai whose lives overlap, not always intentionally. Unlike the conventional novel that demands teleology, and greater cohesiveness of narrative through plot and character, Tyrewala’s resembled a collection of modern-day folk stories, where the connection between characters derived less from a moral imperative and more from the gossamer connection forged through crowded, cruel urban living. Continue reading