Supergirls: Young and Old

Shabnam Minwalla, who writes with ‘a dash of magic and a pinch of realism’ believes children’s books can convey powerful messages. Atima Mankotia’s debut novel Staring at the Square Moon examines the scarred lives of four old friends, all strong women. In a session of readings and conversation, they speak of vulnerability and resilience, across… Read more »

Rajasthan: Badalte Mahaul Mein Media

The media in Rajasthan have always balanced a local and regional approach with a larger understanding of national and international issues. Rajasthan is India’s largest state in terms of size with an area that comprises approximately 10 percent of India’s landmass and borders with Pakistani Punjab and Sindh. The rich culture and vibrant tourism, the… Read more »

Baaz: India’s Most Fearless

Iconic author Anuja Chauhan’s fifth novel, Baaz, is set against the backdrop of the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and the Bangladesh War of Liberation. A meticulously researched saga of the times, at its heart is a love story between a dashing Flying Officer and the peacenik who wins his heart. Shiv Aroor’s compelling India’s Most… Read more »

Across Genres

As genres conflate and overlap, human stories are reaching out through a variety of themes and styles. A panel of writers with very different subjects, techniques and tones of voice speak of why they chose their particular literary forms to tell their tales. Across the conventional categories of fiction and non-fiction, they discuss their experiments… Read more »

We That Are Young: Dreams and Dystopias

Prayaag Akbar and Preti Taneja in conversation with Mohini Gupta Preti Taneja and Prayaag Akbar, the authors of two outstanding debut novels, speak of dreams and dystopias in imagination and reality. Taneja’s We That Are Young transports Shakespeare’s King Lear to the contradictions of New Delhi and is a devastating commentary on contemporary India. Akbar’s… Read more »

Reinventing the Novel

Unlike the epic poem and the travel book, the novel is not a universal cultural form: it has its origins in specific literary experiments in 18th century England. Yet the novel is now regarded as the preeminent literary form. How did this happen and how does the novel keep reinventing itself? Moreover what is its… Read more »

Ideas of China

As with India, everyone has their own ideas of China, their own perceptions of the Middle Kingdom and its place in the modern world. Writers, scholars and journalists from different cultures and disciplines offer their insights and perspectives into the civilisational philosophy and cultural and political history of China and speculate on its future in… Read more »

India’s Elephants: A Cultural Legacy

The Indian elephant, gentle in disposition, fierce in battle, beloved in festivals, is an enduring symbol of our culture. Tripti Pandey speaks of myths and legends, religious interpretations, festivals and rituals associated with the largest land mammal in the planet, and shares anecdotes and stories from her richly illustrated book, ‘India’s Elephants : A Cultural… Read more »

After Patagonia: Remembering Bruce Chatwin

When Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia was published in 1977, it heralded the arrival of a startling new talent in literature. Critics were surprised and spellbound by a story of an adventure that blurred the boundaries between travel writing, biography, history and memoir. All readers recognised its timeless quality and it was immediately pronounced a ‘classic’…. Read more »

Women of the Revolutions

Since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women as second-class citizens. In this session, women writers from Syria and Palestine talk about their two different revolutions in… Read more »

The Rohingya Crisis

Since late August, more than a quarter of a million Rohingya Muslims have flooded into Bangladesh in just two weeks with the emergency situation in Rakhine State, worsening after reports of violent clashes that have allegedly resulted in over 1,000 Rohingya Muslims butchered, raped and killed. The UN Refugee Agency has estimated over 290,000 people… Read more »