Times of India Kitab

Times of India Kitab

The Times of India Kitab – 2nd India International Literature and Media Festival

After the resounding success of the first Kitab Festival in New Delhi last year, Kitab returns this time to Mumbai with The Times of India as its title sponsor. From 23rd to 25th February 2007, The Times of India Kitab International Literature and Media Festival will bring together renowned and burgeoning authors, playwrights, screenwriters, journalists, actors, film-makers and activists from India, Britain, Pakistan, USA and other countries such as Academy Award winning film director Anthony Minghella and Indian film director Mahesh Bhatt, media figures MJ Akbar, editor of The Asian Age, Barkha Dutt, TV journalist and John Kampfner, editor of New Statesman, actor Shabana Azmi and authors Philip Hensher, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal.
The festival will also bring together top editors, literary agents, publishers, journalists and activists from India and Britain. Some of these include publishers Alexandra Pringle, editor in chief of Bloomsbury, Nicholas Pearson, publishing director of Fourth Estate (HarperCollins UK), Jane Lawson, senior editor of Doubleday (Transworld/Random House UK), PM Sukumar, CEO of HarperCollins India, journalists Dylan Jones, editor of GQ, Ian Jack, editor of Granta, Geordie Greig, editor of Tatler, Robert McCrum, literary editor of the Observer and George Brock, Saturday editor of the Times (UK).

The festival programme aims to be eclectic and consists of thought-provoking discussions, Q&A sessions, debates and interviews which will tackle diverse subjects such as ‘Sexuality in Indian Literature’, ‘Media and Terrorism’, ‘Homosexuality and the Indian Law’ and ‘The Future of the Indian Publishing Industry’. There will also be a number of readings by contemporary novelists and poets, as well as film screenings followed by Q&A sessions with directors. In association with a couple of publishing houses, the festival will host a number of book launches. The Times of India Kitab will also hold several surreal and alluring evening events during the festival.

Participants at Kitab include Gregory David Roberts, Blake Morrison, Amit Chaudhuri, Helen Simpson, Jackie Kay, Kamila Shamsie, Justine Picardie, Farrukh Dhondy, Javed Akhtar, Peter Gordon, Chair of the Man Asian Literary Prize, Jaishree Misra, Toby Litt, Geoff Dyer, Deborah Moggach, Tishani Doshi, Jerry Pinto, William Dalrymple, Hoshang Merchant, Shashi Tharoor, Shekhar Kapur, Fatima Bhutto, Jyoti Guptara, Muneeza Shamsie, Arvind Mehrotra, Sonia Faleiro, Dilip Chitre, Altaf Tyrewala, Pavan K Varma, Sujit Saraf, Sooni Taraporevala, amongst many others.

Friday 23rd February

Gender & Sexuality

Venue: Durbar Hall, Asiatic Society (main venue)

11.30 -12.30
Sexuality and Fiction
How do Indian and British fiction writers convey sexuality?

Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal
Shobhaa De
Raj Rao
Hoshang Merchant
Toby Litt

12.30 – 1.30
Veils and mini skirts
Is women’s dress given too much importance? What are the roles of the veil and the mini skirt in India and England today? What wider issues do debates around clothing reveal?

Helen Simpson
Jaishree Misra
Urvashi Butalia
Hugo Rifkind
Kamila Shamsie

1.30 -2.30

2.30 -3.30
Gender Dictators
Is gender reflected in or dictated by TV, Literature and Film?

Alka Pande
Jerry Pinto
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
Jessica Hines

Venue: OXford Bookstore

1.30 – 2.30
Readings and conversation between Jackie Kay and Arundhati Subramaniam

A conversation between Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal and Tishani Doshi

A talk by Hoshang Merchant on pornography

Penguin Book Launch
(Invitation only)

5pm Oxford/Apeejay Boat Trip
(Invitation only)

Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan

Kiran Nagarkar reads from one of his novels and answers questions

From Page to Screen: a discussion on the rewards and difficulties of depicting literary fiction for the screen:

Deborah Moggach
Sooni Taporewala
Farrukh Dhondy

2- 4.30
Screening of My Beautiful Launderette

Venue: Taj Mahal Palace and Tower

An Evening with Deborah Moggach and Malavika Sangghvi
(Invitation only)

Saturday 24th February

Media and Publishing

Venue: Little Theatre, NCPA (main venue)

10 – 11
What’s the future of Literary Criticism in India and Britain?

Literary critics, reviewers, bloggers from India and the UK give their views

Robert McCrum, Literary Editor, The Observor
Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor, The Independent
Ian Jack, Editor, Granta
Susheila Nasta, Editor of Wasafiri
Eunice D’Souza
Dilip, Biblio
Anil Dharker
Chandrahas Choudhury
Nilanjana Roy (Moderator)

11 – 12
The Role of the Writer -Writing as self expression? Writing as a craft? Writing as play? Writing as a tool for social change?
“The expectation the Indian writer has had of himself since Independence,” wrote Adil Jussawala in 1986, “(as) ‘agent of social change’ may sound absurdly inappropriate to a (western) writer. But I believe that no Indian writer can avoid taking a moral stand on the many social evils in his country, especially in view of the obvious poverty and distress. It’s a social privilege to be able to write, or travel abroad and pontificate.” A discussion on the role of the writer in 21st century India and England

Francis Gilbert
Adil Jussawala
C.P Surendran
Sonia Faleiro
Sharmista Mohanty

A Times of India Kitab/ Jindal Centre event

Penguin Book Launch
(Invitation only)

1 – 3
Generation Next
British and Indian publishers discuss the new generation of literary publishing.

Publishers including:

Renuka Chatterjee
Nicholas Pearson
Antara Dev Sen
Jane Lawson
Thomas Abraham
PM Sukumar
Arvind Krishna Mehotra
Alexandra Pringle
Susheila Nasta
Ian Jack

3 – 4
Terrorist or freedom fighter?
Does the language used by governments and media influence how we perceive those who use violence against civilians to achieve political ends? Has counter terrorism become a cover for Islamaphobia? Can governments also be terrorists? A discussion on the causes and effects of terrorism in Britain and India today.

John Kampfner
Fatima Bhutto
Mahesh Bhatt
Philip Hensher
George Brock

Kitab Media Event

- Do readers want quality journalism and are they prepared to pay for it?
- Is the media dumbing down?
- If digital technology means that anyone can be a journalist, what is a journalist?
- How far should the state regulate media ownership?
- To what extent does the media influence government policies?

British and Indian journalists give their views,

A Times of India Kitab/The Economist event

Venue: Oxford Bookstore

Fatima Bhutto gives a talk about the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan

Gregory David Roberts talks about Human Rights-

3 – 4
A conversation between Amit Chaudhuri and Ian Jack

Jyoti Guptara talks about the inspiration behind his fantasy novels

HarperCollins Book launch of C.P Surendran’s latest collection of poetry

(Invitation only)

Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan

10 – 1
Screening of Anand Patwardhan’s War and Peace, an epic documentary journey of peace activism India, Pakistan, Japan and the USA in the face of global militarism and war [130 minutes / Color / 2002]

Screening of Images You Didn’t See, a music video that interprets images of the war in Iraq – images gleaned from the net, which never appear in the mainstream media or are masked behind a velvet curtain of global infotainment (5 minutes/2005)

Followed by a conversation with Anand Patwardhan

Screening of Anand Patwardhan’s We are not Monkeys, a music video that reworks the epic Ramayana story to critique the caste and gender oppression implicit in it
(5 mins/Colour, 1996)

Followed by:
Sacred literature: A discussion on the tension between sanctity and censorship in art and the difficulties and dilemmas of adapting religious works and symbols:

Sujit Saraf
Anand Patwardhan
Farrukh Dhondy

Credentials Please!
Should the writer be free to write about any place or anyone, limited by nothing but the imagination? Is this a privilege for the few? Is authenticity important? Does the writer have a responsibility to the people and places he/she writes about? A discussion on who writes about whom.

Geoff Dyer
Blake Morrison
Esther Freud
Suniti Namjoshi
Ranjit Hoskote

A Times of India Kitab / PEN event

3 – 4
Bafta nominated author and screenwriter Deborah Moggach talks about her screenplay of the Oscar nominated film ‘Pride and Prejudice’ starring Keira Knightly and gives a masterclass, showing clips from the movie

Venue: Good Earth

Launch: Wasafiri; The Magazine of International Writing.
To celebrate the publication of the
magazine in India from 2007.
(with drinks/canapés)

Readings by:

Jackie Kay
Amit Chaudhuri
Blake Morrison
Suniti Namjoshi
Sridar Rajeshwaran

(Invitation only)

Good Earth/ GQ Party for Times of India Kitab

(Invitation only)

Sunday 25th February

Performing Literature

Venue: Prithvi Theatre (main venue)

11.30 – 12.45
Poetry 1
Suniti Namjoshi
Deepankar Khiwani
Adil Jussawala
Dilip Chitre

2 – 3.15
Poetry 2
Vivek Narayanan
Jackie Kay
Jane Bhandari
Arvind Krishna Mehotra

3.15 – 4.30
Readings by:

Helen Simpson
Geoff Dyer
Kamala Shamsie
Hanif Kureishi

4 .30– 5.45
Poetry 3
Anand Thakore
Tishani Doshi
Jeet Thayil
Ranjit Hoskote

Mumbai Meri Jaan!
Readings by:

Sonia Faleiro
Darryl D’Monte
Jerry Pinto
Naresh Fernandes
Arundhati Subramaniam
Eunice D’Souza

With readings of Arun Kolatkar’s poetry and from Altaf Tyrewala’s No God in Sight.

A Times of India Kitab/Time Out event

Venue: Prithvi Cafe

1 – 2
World Literature – a new category?
Does regional writing appeal to a limited audience? Does an international readership matter to writers? Does some writing travel better? What effect does migration and the migration of literature have on writers and writing?

Helen Cross
Dilip Chitre
Jane Lawson
Antara Dev Sen
Susheila Nasta

3:30 – 4:30
Performance Poetry Masterclass
with poets Vivek Narayanan and Jeet Thayil.

Followed by
15 renowned poets will listen to and comment on open mic performances from the public. Including poetry readings by Kavita Jindal and Toby Litt.

Amit Chaudhuri and his band perform
This is not Fusion, alongside a conversation with Naresh Fernandes

Venue: Saltwater Grill

11 – 2
Ingredients Lost in Transit
A spicy debate featuring Simon Parkes and Hugo Rifkind at Salt Water Grill (Sunday Brunch) on 25 February.

Venue: Olive

Olive – Times of India Kitab Party


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