Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival announces its Ninth edition

Kolkata, 5th January 2017:  Apeejay Surrendra Group and Oxford Bookstores today announced the ninth edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore and Kolkata’s first literary festival. The festival will be held for 4 days from 11-14th January at the historic St Paul’s Cathedral Lawns.


Maina Bhagat, Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival said,  “ The ninth edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, which inaugurates  11th January at St Paul’s Cathedral Lawns, will be different. Apart from the stellar Literary sessions, curated by Oxford Bookstore – and as the nation stands at the edge of a cusp- eminent social commentators and writers will discuss and debate critical issues  – Censorship in Cinema, Climate Change, the future of crumbling cities, Indian Women in India@70, Governance and much more. Oxford Bookstore Kolkata has nurtured new ideas and new talent for nearly a century. The Bookstore is the fountainhead of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival and proudly presents its ninth edition with the very best of book launches, discussions, theatre performances, music and poetry readings. Speakers from across the globe – from Australia, UK, Scotland, France, Germany, Haiti and more – join eminent novelists, filmmakers, artists, poets, and social commentators to bring you a heady mix of literature, arts and current affairs. This year we spread our wings as we collaborate with Bonjour India, the prestigious French initiative across Literature and the Arts, as well as two leading international festivals – Edinburgh International Book Festival and Henley Literary Festival – to present interesting international programs. We also reaffirm our link with the Jaipur Literature Festival through our exclusive Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize. Join us for a bigger and better Oxford Junior Literary Festival (OJLF) for young readers; the announcement of a major new award for emerging women writers, and a date with India’s top poets along with international poets at Poetry Café.  We’ll be at the Indian Museum, Harrington Street Art Centre and Goethe Institut and Tollygunge Club apart from St Paul’s Cathedral Lawns from January 11-14. And I hope to look forward to see you here!


Mira Nair, Ashis Nandy, Basharat Peer, Vishal Bhardwaj, Soha Ali Khan, Soumitra Chatterjee, Nayantara Sahgal, Shobhaa De, Rashmi Bansal, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aparna Sen, Srijato, Arindam Sil, Arundhati Ghosh, Abir Mukherjee, Kiran Nagarkar, Robert Dessaix,  Sagar Daryani, Kishwar Desai, Bittu Sahgal, Boria Majumdar, Dev n Nil, Jayant Kripalani, Tishani Doshi, Pramod Kapoor, Deep Dasgupta, Harinder Sidhu, Justice Mukul Mudgal,  Chandrahas Choudhury, Harsh Neotia, Karthika VK,  Urvashi Butalia, Usha Uthup, Victor Banerjee, Vidya Rao, Kabir suman, Kalyan Ray, Dolly Basu, Mark Tully, Meera Nair, Meghnad Desai, Mir,  Sanjay Kak, Naresh Fernandes, Namita Gokhale, Salil Tripathi and others will be attending the 2018 edition.


Anjum Katyal, Co-Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival“ Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2018 is woven around the main theme – India@70 with key sessions emerging from this theme Where do we stand as a nation?; Cities of the Future. Is there a new way of envisioning the city of tomorrow?; Reversing the Gaze: how the experiences of the ex-colonies can inform postcolonial thinking; Gandhi Nama- An Illustrated Biography’ right till the closing event on the 14th Jan ‘Indian@70 – Towards Peace’. Oxford Junior Literary Festival – the city’s first children’s literary festival – hosted within AKLF will feature renowned authors like Nandana Sen, Namita Gokhale, Bittu Sahgal, Nabaneeta Dev Sen,Daniel Hahn, Novoneel Chakravorty, singer Usha Uthup and danseuse Anita Ratnam. Poetry Café, that runs parallel to AKLF, will be hosting first time young aspiring poets from the city who will be sharing the stage with international poets like James Noel and Makenzy Orcel from Haiti; Nalini Paul from the UK; and Tishani Doshi, Sudeep Sen, C. P. Surendran from India. Curated by Oxford Bookstore – Plug-in – hosted by AKLF has become bigger and better in its second year and will feature Kendraka, Cactus, Nikita Gandhi and Teri Miko. The new addition this year is the one-of a kind professional workshop ‘Mind your Own Business’ to be held on 15th of January at The Lalit Great Eastern and this will be on pre-registration. I hope to see you at AKLF all day and invite you to spend the evenings with us at Plug-in and Poetry Café from 6 pm onwards.”


AKLF 2018 associates with Bonjour Indiaan initiative that shapes the Indo-French cultural dialogue. Damien Syed, Consul General of France in Kolkata shared “We are delighted and excited that Bonjour India is associated with the highly reputed and prestigious Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival. This is a matter of pride for us.  The Ambassador of France to India, Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, looks forward to coming to Kolkata on that occasion. Our association with AKLF, as part of Bonjour India, will definitely enhance the rich and fruitful cultural relations between our two countries”


AKLF is collaborating with Edinburgh International Book Festival. Abir Mukherjee, the bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham, whose parents are from Bengal while he grew up in Scotland said, “The cultural roots between Scotland and Bengal run deep: this is at the heart of my writing. Time spent with the Mackenzie Collection on Stornoway during the first phase of the New Passages residency highlighted to me the continued and continually-charged nature of this relationship. I’m looking forward to learning more about those connections during my time in Kolkata, exploring and strengthening contemporary relationships between Scotland and India.”


Shobhaa De, Eminent novelist, who will be attending the 2018 edition said“The AKLF is a rare gem of a lit fest. It attracts terrific writers. But most importantly, it attracts informed and engaged readers. The lively audience interactions remain stimulating for both – authors and readers – which is rare! The venues are spectacular and historic. As for the gourmet spread in the author’s lounge! Food for thought …and more!!!”


AKLF announced that its children’s festival – Oxford Junior Literary Festival – has been extended to all four days of AKLF on popular demand. It will held from Jan 11-14thfrom 10 am to 3pm at St Paul’s Cathedral Lawns.


AKLF announced Plug-in music festival introduced in 2017 has been extended to all evenings on all four days of AKLF on popular demand and success last year. It will be held from Jan 11th to 14th 7:30 pm onwards at St. Paul’s Cathedral Lawns


AKLF has conducted poetry contests across December and will bring the young winners to its poetry initiative – Poetry Café. It will be held for 3 days from 12-14th Jan from 6pm to 7:30 pm.

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