Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest Begins Today

Entertainment | November 17, 2016 | News

Tata Literature Live NCPA Prithvi Theatre

The 7th edition of Tata Literature Live, a  four-day festival, has begun today and will go on till November 20. Taking place at 2 Mumbai venues, NCPA, Nariman Point and Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, the festival will witness over 130 celebrated writers and thinkers from over 30 countries converge at Mumbai’s biggest international literary festival

Among the illustrious first line-up for the 7th edition of the festival is Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh, literary critic Nicholas Shakespeare; John Gray, political philosopher and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism; Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian and Padma Bhushan recipient and Simon Armitage, the sardonically witty British poet, famous for the dramatisation of the Greek epic poem, The Odyssey. The festival is also featuring Frank Moorhouse, Ma Thida, Sanjaya Baru, P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Girish Karnad, Anuvab Pal, Keki Daruwalla, Kiran Nagarkar and Jayant Narlikar, among others. Legendary lyricist and poet, Gulzar, and the suave Indian film director and producer, Karan Johar, will lend the festival a flavour of Bollywood.

Founder & Festival Director Anil Dharker said, “‘For us, all the writers coming here are stars in their own right. All our participants will ensure that the festival lives up to its lively image as a platform where literature is truly celebrated through freedom of speech and expression, and where there is never a dull moment. We are thrilled to bring to the audiences of Mumbai and the country this annual literature fiesta.”

Dr. Mukund Rajan, Member – Group Executive Council and Brand Custodian, Tata Sons added, “The Tata group is delighted to announce the city’s favourite annual global confluence of authors, poets and public figures – Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest. In its 7th edition now, we have seen this festival originate, grow and flourish in an era defined by creative expression, thus stimulating conversations and encouraging curiosity in young minds.”

Plays, performance poetry, and storytelling with music are an integral part of the festival. This year’s schedule presents an array of performances, some of which are: 

  1. White Rabbit Red Rabbit by the Iranian playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, is an audacious theatrical experiment wherein actor and audience discover the script together. The Hindi edition of this play premieres at the festival
  2. A one-woman performance, Poetic License, by Erika Batdorf from Canada will see theatre and interactive speech come together to create a funny and magical world of poetry
  3. The Ballads of Bant Singh where Nirupama Dutt interviews the subject of her powerful biography, Bant Singh, in an hour-long evening interspersed with songs, conversations and storytelling
  4. Women on Record by Vidya Shah is a lecture demonstration that takes us back to the early twentieth century - the Gramophone era - to visit the incredible women performers who were divas of their time

Workshops this year, curated for both adults and children, feature international writers and poets undertaking sessions on fiction, theatre and poetry. For adults, these include Writing Biographies by John Zubrzycki, Writing Horror Fiction by Darryl Jones, Poetry from Brazil by Angelica Freitas, Writing Drama for Radio by Sue Roberts, Lens to Lens, a session on photojournalism by Sandor Jaszberenyi, and Machine Plays, the art of performing plays without rehearsals by Nassim Soleimanpour, among others. For children, the sessions feature Worlds within Words, a multi-lingual poetry workshop by Adrian Grima, Yolanda Castano and Sampurna Chattarji; 'How to Draw Everything', a workshop on illustration of stories by Gillian Johnson; and 'Story’xpress', a storytelling session for lesser privileged children.

Since its inception, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest has instituted awards to honour achievements by Indian writers, both emerging and accomplished. Seven awards will be presented to celebrate and recognise outstanding works – the Tata Literature Live! First Book Awards and the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Awards in the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories; the Tata Literature Live! Business Book Award, Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate Award and Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award. Taking this initiative forward, the festival this year has introduced three new awards – the Big Little Book Awards for Author and Illustrator in the Literature-for-children category, and the Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting.

Taking place at NCPA and Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai, the festival will witness over 130 celebrated writers and thinkers from over 30 countries converge.

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