Around town: a literary rendezvous in Mumbai, under the name of Tata Literature Live! returns with his events on the ground
Literature lovers will find reason to rejoice this year as Tata Literature Live! The Bombay Litfest returns to its traditional venue at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, after being held virtually for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The festival will be held from November 11-13 and will feature sessions at St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education (SPICE) and Title Waves Bookstore in Bandra.
Additionally, given the popularity of online sessions during the pandemic, the 13th edition will be a hybrid festival. Virtual sessions will take place on November 9 and 10. Amy Fernandes, director of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest, said: “When we innovated to hold two online festivals during the pandemic, we attracted a global audience with over 8 million views. We have a lot of esteem for this public and want to continue to involve them in the Festival.
Among the highlights, the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to eminent playwright, essayist and teacher Mahesh Elkunchwar, whose plays are notable for capturing the many transitions in post-independence India, spanning a range of scenarios of rural and urban settings. Fernandes described Elkunchwar as “an outstanding playwright who has influenced and inspired generations of writers, playwrights and readers. An English teacher who writes in Marathi, his versatile proficiency in languages and professions is truly unique. On November 12, Elkunchwar will speak on “Space and Time in Art” at NCPA’s Little Theater.
Poet and artist Gieve Patel will receive the Poet Laureate Award on November 12 and speak with poet Sampurna Chattarji.
Tata Literature live! The Mumbai Litfest also announced two new awards, the Rotary Writing For Peace Award and the Binod Kanoria Awards For Children’s Literature. “They both represent important areas for us at the Festival and for society as a whole – one representing peace and reconciliation and the other for instilling a love of reading in children,” Fernandes said.
Marking the festival’s return to physical form, Mumbai will feature actively in the lineup, with various themes relating to the city – a new romance, coastal marine life, history and communities. Author Jerry Pinto’s new book, “The Education of Yuri” will be launched on November 12, followed by a conversation about the role of the city, particularly Mumbai, in a bildungsroman.
As part of two international collaborative sessions, with France and the United Kingdom, the festival will present two events. One is the Great Investigation, inspired by its sister activity in France and dreamed up by Indian author Kalpana Swaminathan, in which participants will have five hours to solve the mystery of the theft of the Blue Sapphire. Another is the culmination of a poetry exchange, led by The Queer Muslim Project and VERVE Poetry Festival, exploring the relationship between language and homosexuality.