Sampling Cha Bar’s exotic new menu in the company of some really prolific writers aside, our five favourite authors tell us why they are going to CWF this year {and why you should, too!}.

Jerry Pinto

JerryImage Courtesy : Youthkiawaaz

Bestsellers: Em and The Big Hoom; Helen: The Life and Times of an H-BombSurviving Women, Asylum and Other Poems, and more

I am coming to the Crime Writers Festival because I have a special place in my heart for the whodunit. I am coming because I like to be counted in an array of talent that stretches back to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex—a crime has been committed and the land is under a scourge, and now the detective must go and find what was done and who did it, and in a breathtaking turn, finds that he did it himself and now must turn judge and jury upon himself—and takes in Wilkie Collins, Agatha Christie, PD James and Josephine Tey. I am coming because Mita Kapur is involved, and she knows how to put a festival together and make people feel special.

Avirook Sen

avImage Courtesy : The Quint

Bestsellers: AarushiLooking for America

The main reason I’d like to attend CWF is because I’ve never attended one of these before! My book is not so much about the crime, or the murders. It is, in fact, about society and system. But there is something about crime and crime writing that tells us a little about us. That’s the aspect that draws me in.

Zac O’Yeah

zacImage Courtesy : Shanghai Daily

Bestsellers: Once Upon A Time In Scandinavistan; Mahatma!; Mr. Majestic! The Tout of Bengaluru; Hari, a Hero for Hire, and more

To tell you the truth, I was really thrilled when I first heard about the plans of a Crime Writers’ Festival to be held in India, and I immediately started making plans to go and check it out. It is a very professionally organised festival and in 2015, it brought together a number of amazing speakers from around India and the whole world, including French and Swedish writers. But in particular, I found it interesting to listen to the Indian writers, because detective novels and crime fiction and thrillers and suchlike are still something of an emerging genre of Indian literature. For sure, there’ve been thrillers published in the various languages for many decades– in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil for example – but for the first time the festival gives serious recognition to this genre.

One of the great thrills in 2015 was to see the master of the Hindi thriller, Surender Mohan Pathak, live on stage – we’ve probably all read some thrillers by him, but rarely thought of him as a real person made of flesh and blood. I’m sure the 2016 edition will throw light on interesting and unexpected aspects of the detective novel; I, for example, will be discussing comic detective characters together with Shovon Chowdhury and Lady Kishwar Desai.

Piyush Jha

piyushBestsellers: Sikandar; King of Bollywood; Mumbaistan; Compass Box Killer, and Anti-Social Network

This is my second year at the CWF and the thing is, you really meet international level, popular/commercial but good quality writers here. This is fiction for entertainment and for the general reader. The genre is representative of the reader, because the number of people reading crime fiction is the highest. You can come to the festival to understand how to write. You can catch me talking about serial killers within India, and the launch of my new book on 17 January.

Namita Gokhale

namitaBestsellers: Paro; A Himalayan Love Story; The Book of Shadows; The Book of Shiva; Shakuntala; In Search of Sita, and more

I helped set-up the CWF {and also the Bhutan Festival} along with Lady Kishwar Desai and Mita Kapur. While literary fiction can be a little self-obsessed, genre-based fiction is always very exciting. Crime writing is an index of not just society, but of gender justice, and social relationships. This is an intersection which leads to many other conversations.

I am most looking forward to the talk on pulp fiction, and the crime magazine with Snigdha Poonam. In fact, it is the pace and the multi-dimensional feature of crime fiction that is very exciting.

When: 16 – 17 January

Where: Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk

Timings: 10am – 7pm

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