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Twin literature festivals in Kolkata

Devoid of any major literary events despite being famed as the cultural capital of the country (cut this out), Kolkata will boast of two back to back literature festivals this month.

books Updated: Jan 04, 2012 10:04 IST

Devoid of any major literary events despite being famed as the cultural capital of the country (cut this out), Kolkata will boast of two back to back literature festivals this month.

Bringing in a deluge of national and international authors like Vikram Seth, Ruskin Bond, Chetan Bhagat and Italian best-selling author Alexandro Baricco to the city, Kolkata's famous book fair will host the Kolkata Literary Meet (KLM) for the first time from January 26.

On the other hand, the third edition of the five-day Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) will blend literature, art, music and films from January 11 and pay tributes to iconic Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz on his birth centenary.

Being organised by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild and Game Plan, the six-day KLM at Milon Mela grounds will also star cricketer-turned-politican Imran Khan and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

"Kolkata is the most natural place to hold such a literary event. Despite being known for its rich cultural and intellectual heritage, Kolkata has never hosted such a large-scale festival and so we decided to initiate it," says KLM organiser Malavika Banerjee.

Imran Khan, who leads the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, will speak on the political destiny of the neighbouring country and also discuss his latest book "Pakistan: A personal History".

Among the other Indian writers who have confirmed participation are Shashi Tharoor, Amish Tripathi (of the "Shiva" trilogy fame), Mohammed Hanif, Amit Chaudhuri and Kunal Basu.