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7 Reasons Why We Are Looking Forward To The Kalam Lit Fest

Orishtha posted on 15 January

The Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet is here with a line-up of talented writers and artists from across the world. It’s going to be six days {Jan 22 to 26} of author meets, readings and signings and some very interesting talks. Here’s what we are looking forward to.

Muhammad Yunus

The festival opens with a session with the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Bangladesh, Professor Muhammad Yunus. The founder of Grameen Bank, he has won the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He will discuss his new book, A World of Three Zeroes, and the future of microfinance with Subroto Bagchi.

Timing: January 22, 4.30 pm.

Aanchal Malhotra

Another author to watch out for is Aanchal Malhotra. Known for her Insta pictures of people affected by Partition and their memorabilia, she will talk about her book, Remnants of a Separation: A History Of The Partition Through Material Memory. If you’re an offbeat history buff, hers is a session you shouldn’t miss. Over the last couple of years, Aanchal has documented people’s history through material possessions — a little box, an old mirror, anklets, they all tell a tale. Aanchal and writer-publisher and founder of Zubaan, Urvashi Butalia, will talk about how memories of the 1947 partition are being re-imagined over the last 70 years by the people whose families witnessed the event first hand.

When: January 22, 6:30pm.

Adrian Levy & Sunetra Choudhury

List to the brilliant Adrian Levy and Sunetra Choudhury as they talk about crime, punishment and how they are chronicling sensational news stories in their recent books.

Adrian Levy is a former staff writer and foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times, and The Guardian.

When: January 23, 2.50pm.

Jeet Thayil

He will be at Kalam to talk about his second novel, The Book of Chocolate Saints published in 2017 where he paints a hallucinatory portrait of an ambiguous soul: a self-destructive figure, a charismatic contrarian, and a tortured, damned artist battling with his conflicting instincts. Vividly set in both Delhi and Manhattan, The Book of Chocolate Saints explores our deepest urges through the novel. Thayil worked as a journalist for 23 years before writing his first novel, Narcopolis. His five poetry collections include Collected Poems and These Errors Are Correct, which won the 2013 Sahitya Akademi Award.

When: January 23, 3.40pm.

Devdutt Pattanaik

Ace mythologist and prolific writer Devdutt Pattanaik will talk about the renewed interest in the stories of India’s ancient texts. Do look up his 2009 TED Talk before you head to this session.

When: January 24,  3pm.

Nandita Das & Nawazuddin Siddiqui

For all you Manto fans, Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be here in Kolkata talking about their upcoming movie — a biopic on Manto.

When: January 24, 5.40pm.

Lastly, for the music lover in all of us, do turn up for the session by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Nasreen Munni Kabir as they discuss the Ustad’s memoir.

When: January 24, 3.50pm.

All the above sessions will be held at Victoria Memorial. For the entire schedule, check out their Facebook page here, their Twitter here and the Insta page here. The entire schedule for all 6 days will be out on January 16.

More Information


Victoria Memorial

Location Details

1, Queens Way, Kolkata

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