The 37th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair will be dedicated to the memory of noted Bengali litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay who passed away on October 23.
The fair, due to be inaugurated in January 2013, will see tributes, memorial lectures and an award being instituted in the name of the Sahitya Akademi award-winning author.
Tridib Chatterjee, secretary of the Publishers and Book Sellers Guild, organisers of the fair said a memorial lecture is being planned on the occasion. Novelist Vikram Seth is being approached to deliver the ‘Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Lecture.’
Recalling the close association that Mr. Gangopadhyay had with the festival, Mr. Chatterjee said it is difficult to believe that he will not be present at the upcoming event.
“I feel sad when the ‘Boi Mela’ [Book Fair] draws to a close… It carries such a festive air,” Mr. Gangopadhyay had said on the concluding day of the fair held early this year. Little did anyone guess that it would be his last.
“Since its inception in 1976, Sunil-da was closely associated with the Kolkata Book Fair. He was a regular at the event, participating in the discussions and seminars and offering us valuable advice,” Mr. Chatterjee said.
Mr. Gangopadhyay also played an important role in organising the Kolkata Literary Meet, inaugurating its first edition in 2011, he said.
Along with the memorial lecture in his honour, Mr. Chatterjee said the organisers are planning to constitute an award in his name to felicitate promising poets and authors.
There is also a proposal to name the main office of the Book Fair or any of the halls in the Milan Mela Fair ground — the venue of the festival — in Gangopadhyay’s name.
The Book Fair will be inaugurated on January 29 and will continue until February 10. Bangladesh is the theme country for the 37th edition, an apt coincidence as Mr. Gangopadhyay hailed from that country.
Mr. Chatterjee said the Literary Meet is to be held for five days, from January 31.