Early To Rise
The litfest season is beginning unseasonably early this year with the first Kovalam literary festival kicking off in Trivandrum’s beach resort on October 6. The three-day affair may look like a clone of the more established Jaipur litfest (the same cliched mix of regional versus English writing). But the temptations of an unexplored books-hungry readership coupled with five-star luxury and exotic locale are proving hard to resist. The festival’s stars include Patrick French, William Dalrymple, Shashi Tharoor, Shobhaa De, Gulzar, Tarun Tejpal, recent Crossword awardees Usha K.R. and Namita Devidayal, personable poet (and now novelist) Tishani Doshi and Penguin’s latest, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan.
A Fair Recognition
In case we didn’t know it already, the Frankfurt Book Fair has finally acknowledged India’s top place in the international publishing scene by opening its office in Delhi—only the fifth country to have a wing of the world’s biggest and most famous publishing trade fair. They are here to play matchmaker. With more publishing houses either opening shop here or outsourcing editorial/ printing work, this is one matrimonial agency that’ll never go bust.
When Frankfurt Book Fair allotted Hall No. 8 to publishers from the UK and the US, and clubbed Indian publishers into Hall No. 6, the organisers unwittingly started a caste struggle that is still festering. Status-conscious Indian publishers are now using every trick in the book to evade high security and get into Hall No. 8, including opening a London office to meet the eligibility criteria.