Literary Festival: Lit for Life is back

Print edition : February 22, 2013

THE HINDU Lit for Life is back, this time in February 2013. It began on a small note in 2010 as a curtain-raiser to the 20th anniversary of The Hindu’s Literary Review. The Hindu Literary Prize was also instituted that year. This year, the festival kicks off in Delhi on February 6 with a panel discussion on the economic history of modern India. The panellists include the journalist-analyst Shankkar Aiyar, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, the economist Bibek Debroy and Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor, The Hindu, will moderate the discussion. Following this, the American photojournalist Steve McCurry will take us on a photo-journey through the Indian subcontinent. The shortlist for The Hindu Literary Prize 2012 will be announced the same evening. The judges this year are Susie Tharu, Pradeep Sebastian, Anita Nair, Nilanjana Roy and Paul Zachariah.

The conclave then moves to Chennai (February 16-17) for two days of discussions, lectures and workshops. Nilanjana Roy, Jeet Thayil and Jerry Pinto tell us what it is like to write a stunning debut novel. Wendell Rodricks talks about the transition from dominating the fashion industry to dominating bestseller lists. Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma plan to bring the cuisines available along the national highways to Chennai.

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi speaks about his two famous grandfathers, Gandhiji and C. Rajagopalachari, while Rahul Bose reads letters the two great men exchanged. Vaidehi Rao, Sara Aboobacker and Benyamin talk about producing bestsellers in regional languages, while Devdutt Pattanaik will share his business mantras. Fans of Amruta Patil, Samit Basu and Apupen can look forward to their chat about being graphic novelists in India.

Ashok Ferrey, Mridula Koshy, Kalpana Sharma, Aravind Krishna Mehrotra, Lalita Iyer, Veena Venugopal, Mayank Austen Soofi and Meenal Baghel are just some of the other names one can expect to encounter at this year’s festival. In addition, there will be Meena Kandasamy’s poetry workshop, an art appreciation class by Sharan Apparao and an inside look at writing and illustrating children’s books by Manjula Padmanabhan and Radhika Menon.

The finale on February 17 will be the announcement of the winner of The Hindu Literary Prize 2012.