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Literature Fests to have musical book readings

Second edition of Literature Live! to ture inventive book readings using ghazals, cello, flute and even a cabaret concerto. As literary festivals become commonplace in the country, the bibliophile’s calendar is finally buzzing like never before.

books Updated: Nov 02, 2011 14:57 IST
Megha Mahindru

As literary festivals become commonplace in the country, the bibliophile’s calendar is finally buzzing like never before. Taking cue from the Jaipur Literary Festival, slated to take place between January 20 to 24 next year, a host of festivals in states like Kerala (Hay Festival and Kovalam Literary Festival), Goa (Goa Arts and Literary Festival), Delhi (Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival and the Delhi International Literary Festival) and Mumbai, with TATA Literature Live! are proving to be hotspots for bookworms.



“It’s not about the number of new literary festivals. Rather, we should ask why it’s taken us so long,” remarks columnist Anil Dharkar, organiser of the Literature Live that kickstarts tomorrow. At Dharkar’s festival, the biggest draw may be sessions by biggies like The World Is Flat writer Thomas Friedman and reclusive author Vikram Seth among others, but what will leave attendees in high spirits is the cultural fix.



Featuring inventive book readings, the festival will see William Dalrymple reading passages from his The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, to a ghazal rendition by vocalist Vidya Shah. Other readings include Brit writer Neil Astley’s reading of poems in tandem with a cello and flute performance. The fest also features English cellist Mathew Sharp, who tells stories while playing the cello with his quartet.



“The idea was to represent literature in a broader sense. Adding elements like dance and music help make a niche event like this more accessible,” feels Dharkar. Besides being a platform for readers to interact with their favourite authors, the four-day festival will also see interpretations of texts. From a laugh riot titled Spent, which revolves around the recession time, to a theatrical and musical presentation of selected columns by prominent playwright Vijay Tendulkar and even a cabaret concerto, the festival is hoping to reach an audience beyond bookworms.



“The written word is the basis of everything, whether it’s cinema or songs. Literature opens up the imagination, so having performances was a natural extension. We wanted to look at literature not as an academic exercise but as something lively and exciting,” says Dharkar.