Valley of Words (VoW) 2021 comes to Kolkata

The Valley of Words Foundation Trust is a registered charitable Trust, established to support creative expressions across all genres through literature and arts festivals, debates, symposia, conversations, book launches, exhibitions, musicals, theatre, poetry cafés et al. Since 2017 the Trustees of VoW have organized four successful festivals in the picturesque setting of the Dehradun valley.

The fifth edition of the pan-India VoW, 2021, is being held across five cities this year, in a new ‘phygital’ mode designed to overcome the obstacles created by COVID 19.

VoW 2021 was flagged off from New Delhi on the 9th-10th of October with the first edition on ‘Military History and Strategy’ at USI. On the 22nd-23rd of October the historical city of Vadodara witnessed a two-day extravaganza based on Hindi Language, Fiction and Non-Fiction category.

This November, VoW has partnered with the Indian Chamber of Commerce and the iconic Bengal Club, Kolkata which will play host on 6th-7th of November to a two-day feast of books and ideas curated around the VoW Book Awards in the English Language, Fiction and Non-Fiction category along with five book launches. The Kolkata chapter will include city-based shortlisted authors from the Hindi Fiction and Translation categories as well.

Being a hybrid event, the team will be crossing geographical boundaries to connect the short-listed authors based in the USA, UK and Sweden, talking to city-based panelists.

The 6th – 7th November weekend will offer Kolkata’s booklovers a feast of subjects and points of view, new authors and seasoned veterans, perfectly suited to a city that loves to celebrate books, ideas, debate and discussion, covering women’s issues, history, art, visions of the future, crime, wildlife, poetry, translations and more. This hybrid festival will share virtual link-ins from across the country and the globe to enable the city’s participants and audience to interact directly with those who are not physically present.

All sessions will be recorded and shared from our YouTube within an hour. https://www.youtube.com/c/ValleyofWordsLitFest 

SHORTLISTED AUTHORS/BOOKS

ENGLISH FICTION:

1.                   Lavanya Lakshminarayan: Analog/Virtual and Other Simulations of Your Future

2.                   Osman Haneef: Blasphemy

3.                   Sakoon Singh: In the Land of Lovers

4.                   Mahek Jangda: Sometimes Ivory, Sometimes Sand

5.                   Gautam Bhatia: The Wall

ENGLISH NON-FICTION CATEGORY:

1.                   Tripurdaman Singh: Sixteen Stormy Days

2.                   Sumathi Ramaswamy: Gandhi in the Gallery _ The Art of Disobedience

3.                   Ishtiaq Ahmed: Jinnah his successes, failures and role in History

4.                   Harsh Madhusudan and Rajeev Mantri: A New Idea of India

5.                   N S Vinodh: A Forgotten Ambassador in Cairo

In addition, Kolkata-based Alka Saraogi will be featured on the platform for her book Kulbhushan ka naam darj kijiye under the Hindi Fiction Category and Ranjita Biswas’s English Translation from Assamese, The Loneliness of Hira Barua will be highlighted. The authors will be in conversation with esteemed Kolkata-based panellists and moderators, a list of whom is as below:

Panellists and Moderators

Aatreyee Ghosh, cultural manager

Anita Agnihotri, IAS, award winning Bengali author

Anjum Katyal, writer, editor, Litfest Director

Avik Chanda, author

Debaroti Chakraborty, academic, Presidency University

Debashis Sen, Chairman and Managing Director WBHIDCO and NDITA, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of West Bengal

Hridyesh Mohan, IAS, Principal Secretary, West Bengal

Jawhar Sircar, public intellectual, ex- sec of culture GOI, MP, Rajya Sabha

Karuna Ezara Parikh, novelist, poet, social influencer, activist

Krishnan Srinivasan, author

Kunal Sarkar, cardiologist, debater, writer

Monabi Mitra, academic, crime fiction writer

Nidhi Poddar, author

Oindrilla Dutt, Event Manager, prominent city personality

Paramita Saha, Director, Artsforward Ideas and Events

Prateek Raja, Gallerist, Experimenter Gallery.

Ramanjit Kaur, actor, Director, The Creative Arts Academy

Samrat Choudhury, journalist, author

Sanchayan Ghosh, artist, pedagogue

Sandip Roy, author and columnist

Sanjeev K Chadha, author

Sanjeev Chopra, policy analyst, Festival Director

Sukanya Mitra, academic, historian

Sunanda K Datta-Ray, senior journalist

Sunil Bhandari, poet, corporate executive

Suranjan Das, VC, Jadavpur Univ, historian

Sushil Poddar, author

Tina Servaia, senior teacher of history

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