From food to films to fashion to pop fiction, The Hindu’s Lit for Life has something for everyone.
Where will you be in the third weekend of February? If you enjoy reading (or writing) a good book and appreciate a lively debate, then look no further. The Hindu Lit for Life is back!
This year’s speakers include writers, illustrators, journalists, poets, actors, fashion designers and scholars — and they are brought together by their common love for books.
The Delhi leg of the festival is on February 6. Speakers include Steve McCurry, the photojournalist who produced the famous “Afghan Girl”, and Shankkar Aiyar, economics analyst and author of Accidental India.
Wendell Rodricks, renowned designer and author of The Green Room, is looking forward to being a part of the festival in Chennai. “Chennai is a city with a sparkling life of its own. In my session with one of Chennai’s leading cultural patrons, Ranvir Shah, we will discuss my memoir The Green Room and the life behind the various green rooms that touched my life. The Green Room is the sanctum sanctorum of a performer or show person; be it a model, singer, ballet dancer, theatre personality, actor or designer. A peep into this fascinating world reveals the glamour and the glory, the chaos and the calm, the raw nerves and first hand ramp realities. All this, through my life as a person who saw the birth of contemporary Indian fashion.”
Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma, authors of Highway on my Plate: The Indian Guide to Roadside Eating, will share their experiences with Chef Dharmen Makawana and Pascal Dupuis of The Leela Palace, Chennai, and Farzana Contractor, editor of UpperCrust magazine. “We’re all about the love for food,” they say. “In fact our motto is ‘make food not war’. The last six years have been a full-time whirlwind journey across our great nation exploring the richest food in the world. Indian food, curiosity, interest and a great love for India, its people and foods drive us ever forward”.
Nilanjana Roy will talk about her new book, The Wildings, and facilitate a reading of Narcopolis with its author Jeet Thayil. “Books, publishing and Chennai are inextricably linked in my memory. I made my first visit to the city back in the day when I was in publishing, and so I’ve always seen it as a city of readers… I am really looking forward to meeting them at the festival.”
Roy, who is also a judge on the panel to select this year’s winner for The Hindu Literary Prize, adds “Discussing books submitted for The Hindu Literary Prize with this year’s jury has been such a pleasure. Between Susie Tharu, Pradeep Sebastian, Anita Nair and Paul Zacharia, we’ve had some wonderful discussions, not just on what books should win the prize, but on how fiction works.” So what does she look for in a book? “This year’s list of submissions was vast and eclectic; as a reader, I looked for lasting excellence — books that will be benchmarks 10, 20, 30 years later — for ambition, and for writers who were willing to challenge the norms, either in terms of imagination or language.”
So keep these dates free. Entry is free and no registration is required for the sessions.
Lit for Life is presented by VGN and powered by VIT University. Associate sponsor: Shriram Chits; Bookstore Partner: Landmark; Hospitality Sponsor: The Leela Palace, Chennai; Event Partner: Aura; Radio Partner: Chennai Live