Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Many goodies at the Chandigarh Literature Festival

A shout-out about this year’s edition of the Chandigarh Literature Festival, being held from November 5-8. I have been helping the organisers put the fest together, and as with previous editions, CLF has a razor-sharp focus, being primarily made up of sessions where a critic is in conversation with an author about a specific book (nominated beforehand by the critic). This year, though, the traditional format has been tweaked just a bit to facilitate a celebration of the journal Biblio: A Review of Books, which turns 20 this year. We asked the Biblio editorial team to nominate a few of their favourite books across categories and we then scheduled sessions where those books would be discussed. The inaugural session on the 5th evening, moderated by Sagarika Ghose, will be about Biblio’s journey and the changing landscape of literary criticism over the past two decades.

The programme is not in its absolute final form yet, but here are some of the books that will be discussed at the festival:

Ananya Vajpeyi’s Righteous Republic (Vajpeyi in conversation with Dilip Padgaonkar)

Shashi Tharoor’s India Shastra (Tharoor in conversation with Mihir Sharma)

Jeet Thayil's 60 Indian Poets (Thayil in conversation with Jennifer Robertson)

Sampurna Chattarji’s Space Gulliver: Chronicles of an Alien (Chattarji in conversation with Arundhathi Subramaniam)

Veena Venugopal’s Would You Like Some Bread with that Book? (Venugopal in conversation with Poorva Rajaram)

Rahul Bhattacharya’s The Sly Company of People Who Care (Bhattacharya in conversation with Rukmini Bhaya Nair)

Sudeep Sen’s Fractals (Sen in conversation with Shashi Tharoor)

Parvati Sharma’s The Dead Camel and Other Stories (Sharma in conversation with Aditya Mani Jha)

Kiran Nagarkar’s Bedtime Story (Nagarkar in conversation with yours truly)

Other highlights include: a special session where Kiran Nagarkar speaks with Nayantara Sahgal about her large body of work; a short-fiction-writing workshop conducted by Indira Chandrasekhar, the editor of Out of Print magazine; and a couple of “specials” that will be revealed closer to the festival date.

Finally, four film sessions featuring directors, screenwriters and some of our finest critics. Baradwaj Rangan will discuss Badlapur with director Sriram Raghavan, Trisha Gupta will discuss NH10 with director Navdeep Singh and writer Sudip Sharma, Mihir Pandya will discuss the Marathi film Killa with director Avinash Arun, and Uday Bhatia will discuss Masaan with director Neeraj Ghaywan and writer Varun Grover.

Anyone who is based in Chandigarh, or plans to be there in November, or is enthusiastic enough to make a short trip for the festival, please do note and spread the word. More details to follow.

(The CLF website is here. Watch for updates)

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