Eighth Edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival


Over 230 International, Indian and city authors and speakers, 3 program forums, 3 children’s venues, 2000 sq. ft. bookstore, stimulating conversations on fiction, non-fiction, Indian history, climate change, mental health, economy, art, love and relationships, liberalism, sports, poetry, science fiction and the future. Leading international names at the Festival are Australian environmentalist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery; Hugo Award winner and prolific sci-fi writer Ian McDonald; Financial Times chief US commentator and columnist Ed Luce; Popular young Kenyan writer Wanjiru Koinange; Sri Lankan science fiction author and researcher Yudhanjaya Wijeratne; American political scientist and counter-terrorism expert Christine Fair; Best umpire in the world during his time,Simon Taufel; French-Indian poet, dance producer and curator Karthika Naïr; Award-winning Lithuanian children’s illustrator-author duo Lina Itagaki and Jurga Vilė; Queensland Poetry Festival Artistic Director Lucy Nelson. Bangalore Literature Festival, Bengaluru city’s flagship literary event, is all set for a spectacular 2019 eighth edition on November 9th and 10th in the lawns of Hotel LaLiT Ashok in Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Bengaluru.
The two-day event will feature a host of distinguished speakers, authors and artistes including thespian and National Award-winning actor Pankaj Kapur; former CEO of McKinsey and co-founder of the Indian School of Business Rajat Gupta; Historian and author of Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past Vikram Sampath; inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for Temporary People Deepak Unnikrishnan; renowned mythologist, writer and columnist Devdutt Pattanaik; acclaimed author, poet and Sahitya Akademi Award winner Jerry Pinto; ecologist and founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences Madhav Gadgil; Author, actress and TV host Lisa Ray; Political and social essayist Mukul Kesavan; Historian William Dalrymple; writer, critic and artist Agni Shreedar; Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam; Creator of Avahan, India’s national AIDS program and the world’s largest private HIV prevention program Ashok Alexander; John Grisham of Banking Ravi Subramanian; Renowned writer, translator, journalist and theatre critic Shanta Gokhale; author and Pratham Books founder Rohini Nilekani; Veteran theatre and film actor Supriya Pathak, one of India’s most decorated military officers Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain and many, many others.
Bhasha writers include HS Shivaprakash, Prathibha Nandakumar, Mridula Garg, Paramita Satpathy, Unni R, Johny Miranda and others. Top names from the publishing world like Udayan Mitra, Chiki Sarkar, Preeti Gill, Teesta Guha Sarkar, Himanjali Sankar, Sohini Basak, Karthik Venkatesh, Deepthi Talwar, Ajitha GS, Premanka Goswami and Roshini Dadlani who will all be at LitMart – the pitch platform for aspiring authors. Voices from Young India this year include Amitabha Bagchi, Keshava Guha, Anuja Chauhan, Ravinder Singh, Preeti Shenoy, Anukrti Upadhyay, Chandrahas Choudhury, Tina Shashikanth, Bilal Siddiqi, Roshan Ali, Tanuj Solanki among others. Editors/journalists/writers Tony Joseph, R Jagannathan, Priyanka Dubey, Varghese K George, Mark Tully, Sunanda Mehta, Bhawana Somaaya and Sharda Ugra. The Bangalore Literature Festival remains among the most sought after and must-attend event for readers and writers from Bangalore, India and the world, with its lively discussions, interviews and literary sessions. As in the past, this year too the Festival will see authors, thought leaders and unique performances. Highlights include Dopehri: A Dramatized Reading; Jane Austen – The Lass With the Delicate Air by Jagriti Theatre; Moola Ramayana by theatre and handloom activist Prasanna; Beloved Witch by India’s best known Wiccan Priestess Ipsita Roy Chakraverty; The Courtesan Project by Manjari Chaturvedi; Masala Shakespeare by Jonathan Gil Harris; an interaction with Lucky Ali and Rudy David (formerly of TaaQ); From Cosmic Dance to Climate Change by Revanta Sarabhai, along with conversations on literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, feminism, crime, popular science, cinema, Donald Trump, wildlife, sci-fi and speculative fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, poetry and lots more. The Festival also features a remembrance of Girish Karnad’s work and life by leading writers and theatre personalities Jayant Kaikini, B. Jayashree and K Marulasiddappa.
A few firsts that the Bangalore Literature Festival is proud to offer to our city in this edition of the Festival are:
1.   Blue About Green – Beyond Climate Change: Chitrangada Choudhury, Madhav Gadgil, Navroz Dubash and Tim Flannery with Karthik Shanker – Australian Environmentalist, with other climate change and environmental specialists discuss the future of the planet.
2.   Surviving a Terror Attack – Former Jet Airways cabin-crew and the face of the Brussels Airport terror attack, gutsy survivor Nidhi Chaphekar talks about her experience.
3.   Bad Man – Gulshan Grover, one of the best-known antagonists in Bollywood, gets candid.
4.   Nehru Lives On – Writer-academic-critic-theologian-broadcaster Purushottam Agrawal on Nehruvian legacy.
5.  The Power of Realism – Writing Workshop by Australian short-story specialist Julia Prendergast.
6.  Khooni Baisakhi – Reading by Navdeep Suri with Harpreet Singh on Jallianwala Bagh centenary. 

This year the Bangalore Literature Festival has expanded the children’s programming to include three forums – Abracadabra for 4y+; Khul Ja Sim Sim for 8y+ and Shazam for 12y+ on both days of the Festival and an exclusive bookstore for children. Titled ‘Children|Literature|Fun – (C|L|F)’ this includes writing workshops, illustration, storytelling, creative games, music performances, all in a carnival atmosphere. Some of the exciting elements of C|L|F this year are sessions with authors including Geeta Ramanujam, internationally renowned children’s storyteller, educator and the vision behind Kathalaya; Bindhu Malini Narayanaswamy – National Award winning singer and composer; Janaki Sabesh – actor, storyteller, author of children’s book ‘The Jungle Storytelling Festival’; Lavanya Karthik – author of the popular Ninja Nani Series and The Lion’s Feast and illustrator of the graphic novel on President Kalam; Savio Mascarenhas – art director at Tinkle Comics and creator of Shikari Shambhu and Suppandi; performances by Spanish clown Monica Santos, Founder of Big Smiles; Sowmya Rajendran – author of graphic novel Nirmala & Normala and The Incredible History of India’s Geography; Devika Cariapa, author of India Through People: 25 Game Changers; children’s writer and cartoonist Arthy Muthanna Singh; Award winning animation filmmaker, artist, author Gautam Benegal, music performances and education sessions with Saskia Rao de Haas; interactive sessions with the Museum of Art and Photography; performances by Yakshadegula; Lithuanian illustrator and storyteller duo Lina Itagaki and Jurga Vilė and a whole host of other fun and exciting programming, curated by Vikram Sridhar, which promises to take not just children but the little kid in every adult too by storm.
The Festival will see some stellar evening music performances – From Shakespeare to Shishunala: A Poetic Journey by Manasi and Friends and a show by the Thayir Sadam Project. Interactive installations at the Festival this year include itihaasa, that recounts the history of Indian IT since the 1950s; an Arts & Tech experience by Bengaluru Fantastic; Kafka in Virtual Reality – Experience the world as GregorSamsa, brought to us from Germany by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore; Celebrating 150 years of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table in collaboration with Royal Society of Chemistry and typewriting fun with the Bengaluru Busking Project. The Festival will be anchored by the city’s much-loved radio personalities Melodee Austin and Sriram Sullia. The Bangalore Literature Festival and Atta Galatta, the city-based bookstore and hub for literary events, will also give out the Atta Galatta–Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize to honour the best of English fiction and non-fiction and Kannada writing. There will also be a session in partnership with the The New India Foundation for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize for the best non-fiction book on modern/contemporary India. Festival Director Shinie Antony says: “We hope to once again bring BLF magic to our city. The Festival has been put together with much love by the team, keeping in mind the city and its passions.” Brought to you by Friends of BLF – a group of eminent citizens of Bengaluru, who firmly believe that the city comes alive in its public spaces, in its arts and culture events that foster meaningful dialogue, enriching discussions and healthy debates; a group whose support has laid the foundation for an independent, community-funded literary event that the city can be proud of. Friends of BLF help create – with their generosity, energy and time – this world of words.

The Festival opens at 10 am on Nov 9 and Nov 10. Entry is free, open to all and registration is recommended. For registration, complete schedule of events, participating author bios and other information check www.bangaloreliteraturefestival.org or follow blrlitfest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram



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