With the participation of over 30 countries and nearly 1,000 publishers and exhibitors, the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) is returning to its full physical form after a gap of three years, the National Book Trust announced on Thursday.
This year's festival will be inaugurated on February 25 by education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain, and NBT chairman Govind Prasad Sharma, among others. The last physical edition of the festival was in January 2020 and then the pandemic enforced the book gala to go online.
Based on the theme of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the book fair will host France as the guest country with the participation of 16 French authors, including the Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux, and more than 60 publishers, literary agents and cultural representatives.
"Today we are seeing French people are more and more interested in Indian literature. France and India are two big countries of literature. We have dozens of people arriving from France. The delegation of authors is led by Annie Ernaux, who is our latest Nobel prize winner. With 16 laureates, France is the country which received the largest number of literature Nobel prizes in the world," Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, cultural counsellor, Embassy of France, said here at a press conference.
He added that other writers will include feminist author Camille Laurens, children's writer Susie Morgensten, and graphic novelist Simon Lamouret. Talking about the theme pavilion, NBT director Yuvraj Malik said that the book fair will be organising a number of literary and cultural activities to mark 75 years of Independence.
"More than 750 titles on freedom fighters and the national movement will be displayed in all major Indian languages and English. Book and photo exhibitions, panel discussions, book releases, cultural events and workshops will also be held to mark the occasion," Malik said.
The NDWBF will host participants from G20 countries at a separate pavilion.The nine-day literary event will also feature more than 50 cultural programmes such as open mics, performances by Army and Police bands, talk shows, and folk performances.
At the children's pavilion, a number of activities such as skits, dramas, street plays, musical presentations, storytelling sessions, workshops, and panel discussions will be held to inculcate reading habits among children.
Renowned authors including Ashwin Sanghi, Vikram Sampath, Preeti Shenoy, and Anand Neelakantan will participate in dialogues, panel discussions, and book launches at the fair, Malik noted.
The National Book Trust will also mark 50 years of the book fair by releasing a special postal stamp on the occasion. Tickets for the fair are priced at Rs 10 for children and Rs 20 for adults, while entry is free for school children, differently-abled and senior citizens.