Literary Review

News from the world of books

ILF Samanvay, India’s only exclusive languages festival, will be on from November 5 to 7 from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm at the Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

The theme of ILF 2016 is ‘Language as Public Action’, and it animates all the segments of the festival this year. The focal languages are Gujarati, Telugu, Urdu, Santhali and Khasi, and a special appearance of Tripuri. The inaugural speaker is Ela Bhatt, social activist and founder of SEWA.

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Jai Arjun Singh’s book The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee was awarded the cinema-writing prize at the Mumbai Film Festival recently. In the 13 chapters of the book, Jai covers just about every aspect of Mukherjee’s cinema.

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In February this year, Amazon bought a 26 per cent stake in Westland, the publishing unit of the Tata group retail company Trent Ltd, for about Rs. 9.5 crore. Amazon has now agreed to acquire the remaining 74 per cent stake, indicating its interest in expanding its presence in India books market. Following the investment made by Amazon.com NV Investment Holding, Inc., Amazon will get right to name one member to the Westland board. Amazon has said the acquisition would help Westland’s authors to grow their physical and digital book businesses in India as well as expand their reach to customers globally.

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A new literary award with a prize pot of $100,000 (£82,000) puts the Baillie Gifford’s £30,000 and the Man Booker’s £50,000 in the shade. But the entry that takes the inaugural Nine Dots prize will differ from the season’s other prizewinning books in one crucial respect: it won’t exist. Drawing its name from a puzzle that can be solved only by lateral thinking, the Nine Dots prize is asking for responses to the question: “Are digital technologies making politics impossible?” Established writers and debut authors are invited to send 3,000-word answers, along with an outline showing how they would develop their argument into a short book. The award, judged anonymously by a 12-strong panel of academics, authors and journalists, also includes a book deal with Cambridge University Press.

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Orient BlackSwan’s new series called ‘Strategic Studies’ will focus on contemporary trends in India and South Asia, using historical narrative if need be to provide the context. Comprising research monographs and edited volumes, theoretical and policy-oriented writings, this series is aimed at students, scholars and the lay reader interested in international relations. Three books — Afghanistan’s Regional Dilemmas and Indian Foreign Policy, both edited by Harsh V. Pant, and New South Asian Security edited by Chris Ogden — are out under this series.

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Navneet Education Ltd has announced that is acquiring Britannica’s Indian curriculum business. Britannica India’s Curriculum Division designs and develops educational products for the Indian region for students across India and Indian schools abroad. Under the partnership, Britannica’s curriculum business will expand its products range and further accelerate its growth. The current Britannica business unit will become an independent company within Navneet. The company will market Britannica’s existing India-specific curriculum titles ‘Know for Sure’ and ‘The English Channel’ as well as develop new titles under Britannica’s brand, editorial supervision and guidelines for seven years.

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Joe Kahn, managing editor of The New York Times, has revealed how the title plans to grow its newsroom and audience in the UK as part of a major global expansion. He said the NYT does not plan to compete directly with established players in the UK on domestic breaking news. But he said he believes it can provide in-depth international coverage which British readers will pay for.

The US daily employs some 1,300 journalists and has enjoyed success since 2011. It expects to exceed 1.4m digital subscribers (who pay in order to read more than ten articles per month) by the end of this year and some 200,000 of these are outside the US. Press Gazette understands that less than 20,000 of those international subscribers are based in the UK. The title already employs around 40 journalists at its London bureau and plans to further increase that number.

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Expressen, one of Sweden’s oldest tabloid newspapers, is aiming to position itself as the ‘home of breaking news’ in the country using online video.

The publisher has recently invested in two additional studios, that will use innovative technologies such as 3D and virtual graphics to produce more video for Expressen TV, its on-demand video platform. “Print is no longer our only operation,” Bella Levy, head of Expressen TV, explained at the World Publishing Expo in Vienna.

The news organisation’s online strategy is to produce 100 video clips per day, featured on the website alongside written articles. This is not an easy task, especially as the team aims to go live within 180 seconds of any breaking news event.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:28:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-review/News-from-the-world-of-books/article16437539.ece

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