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Sixth Tata literature fest to begin from October 29

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Mumbai: The sixth edition of the ‘Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest’ will be held in the city from October 29 – November 1, with 120 celebrated authors and thinkers from over 14 countries participating.

The festival will be held simultaneously at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point and Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.

Some of the speakers include Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy, who is making headlines for her book “Headscarves and Hymens”, Germaine Greer, one of the pioneers of the international feminist movement, Kiran Nagarkar, Indian novelist, Vikram Seth and Hussain Zaidi, investigative journalist and author of Dongri to Dubai.

Seven awards would also be presented during the fest, organised by the Tata Group, to celebrate remarkable works in fiction, non-fiction, business writing, poetry, a lifetime achievement award along with a book of the year award for fiction and non-fiction.

“We’re thrilled to announce a fantastic line-up for this edition. Indian writers will be sharing the stage with authors from over 14 countries. This year’s edition also brings a riveting line-up of international performances from across the globe,” said director and founder of the festival Anil Dharker in a statement.

As a part of the four-day fest, audience can expect discussions, debates and talks with actor and activist Lisa Ray, Kalki Koechlin, author Stephen Kelman, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on discussions like “What is authentically India?” among others.

There would also be performances of dance and poetry, plays like the “Comedy of Horrors”, directed by Vivaan Shah, son of popular stage and film actor Naseeruddin Shah, among others.

(IANS)

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Indian Origin Author Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” adaptation to have non-white cast

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Author Vikram Seth, Twitter

London, May 5, 2017: Indian-origin author Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” is being adapted as the first-period drama for BBC One. The series will have a complete non-white cast.

Published in 1993, the period coming-of-age story of “A Suitable Boy” begins in 1951 and is set in India. The eight-part series will be shot on location in India and feature the BBC’s first entirely non-white cast, reports deadline.com.

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Andrew Davies, the screenwriter whose hits include the famous 1995 version of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Colin Firth and last year’s adaptation of “War and Peace”, will be writing the series.

“Lata’s trials of the heart speak as loudly to me now as when I first read Vikram’s epic novel two decades ago. She is a great literary heroine in the tradition of Jane Austen and George Eliot.

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“But behind her stands a massive supporting cast of striking, funny, irrepressible characters and a vision of India in the 1950s that no reader can ever forget. It will make a wonderful series and I can’t wait to bring the magic of the book to life on screen,” Davies said.

Filming is set to begin later this year and it is expected to occupy the Sunday night slot reserved for popular costume dramas such as “Poldark”.

“A Suitable Boy” is a Lookout Point production for BBC One. (IANS)

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A Literary Night to Bookmark! 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award in Mumbai celebrates Indian Writing

Lyricist Gulzar bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award to author Ruskin Bond

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Raymond Cross Book Award 2014, Youtube

Mumbai, November 30, 2016: It was a literary night at the National Centre for the Performing Arts when authors of all genres arrived at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award here.

Lyricist Gulzar bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award to author Ruskin Bond at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award on Tuesday.

In fiction category, it was ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’ by Amish Tripathi which won the award in the popular fiction category. Twinkle Khanna’s ‘Mrs Funnybones’ took the popular non-fiction award.

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‘Playing It My Way’ by Sachin Tendulkar (co-author Boria Majumdar) was given the award for best biography while Radhakrishnan Pillai bagged the popular award in Business and Management category for his book ‘Chanakya in You’.

Health and fitness book ‘Body Goddess’ written by Payal Gidwani got the award in the health and wellness category while it was Roopa Pai who was awarded for children’s writing for her book ‘Gita for Children’.

Amitav Ghosh was awarded the Crossword Book Award – jury in the fiction for his ‘Flood of Fire’ while in the non-fiction category it was ‘Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India’ by Akshaya Mukul which bagged the jury award for best non-fiction.

‘The Sun That Rose From the Earth’ by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi was given the jury award for the best translated book and Ranjit Lal won the jury award in the children’s book category for his writing ‘Our Nana was a Nutcase’.

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The evening also saw the launch of the coffee table book, ‘The Benevolent Narmada’, featuring photographs by Hari Mahidhar and script by Vithal Nadkarni.

Accepting the award, author Ruskin Bond, addressing the event through a video conference, said: “I’m told, Gulzar is coming to give me the award. I’m 82 years old now, and don’t travel around much. But it is great to receive this award from him and from Crossword Bookstores.”

Author Ranjit Lal, after receiving the award, said: “This recognition is special because ‘Our Nana was a Nutcase’ is not an ordinary story. Nana is actually bringing up his daughter’s four children. There is a brilliant role reversal, when the children witness their Nana’s gradual decline with Alzheimer’s, come to terms with it and slowly realise that it is they who have to be the caregivers for their Nana.”

“It feels wonderful to win the Popular Award because it means the book has truly resonated with young readers, which is what every writer truly wishes for her book. Children’s literature, in India as everywhere, needs all the help it can get to reach a wider audience,” author Roopa Pai said, after winning the award in children’s book category.

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Author Amish Tripathi said: “It is an honour to receive the popular Crossword Book Award in the fiction category for the book ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’. It is an award decided by the readers. It is the job of a writer to write a book but it is only when it’s picked by readers, liked by readers that makes its true purpose.” (IANS)

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Irony of tolerance; forbearance being questioned by intolerant writers

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By- Surbhi Moudgil

Tolerance is a propaganda with no distinction of device; a role-play of democracy which often gets contradicted by its own preachers.

The ironic enactment of the tolerant world is getting broader on its awareness spectrum, yet it is shrinking in its dissent. The preachers on tolerance in India, award (Sahitya Akademi) winning writers, of late have questioned the legitimacy of their writings being snubbed by a particular section of the society.

Several contradictions arise when demands on tolerance are probed.  An arch pluralist, Isaiah Berlin’s statement, “Let us have the courage of our admitted ignorance, of our doubts and uncertainties. At least we can try to discover what others require, by making it possible for ourselves to know men as they truly are, by listening to them carefully and sympathetically, and understanding them and their lives and their needs…”, accelerates the argument of tolerance being questioned.

Can an agitation contrary to another agitation represent tolerance?

Novelist Vikram Seth criticized the current atmosphere in the country, saying some people “under the banner of Hindutva, intimidation and bigotry, seek to silence writers and scholars.” Levitating on the question, ain’t they going on a rally to express their disagreement, intimidation and been taken as bigots, the same kind of an expression.

The question is: are the writers being tolerant of others’ expression on religious beliefs, angst, and agitations? Clearly not, as they are getting furious and giving up their Sahitya Akademi awards.

The writers, as well as the passive self-righteous social groups, claiming for tolerance and yet not being tolerant to each other, need to find a collective path of pluralism. We should tread the path of this pluralism where one is not just liberal or just conservative but trails the intermediate track of moderation.

The liability of tolerance is larger than the gamut of acceptance and both need to be differentiated by either of the partisans, the writers as well as the supposed intolerant society.

The writers should be able to tolerate the agitation expressed by particular pockets of the society, and vice-versa.

Tolerance is a one-way road, where there is either moderation from all side or total chaos of demanding the others to tolerant. Thus, the writers, as well as the society, need to modify their perspectives before hovering the pragmatic blame game of tolerance.