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Kitab fest begins April 7 in New Delhi

The three-day literary festival will mull issues ranging from sexuality to media relations.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2006 13:19 IST

A three-day literary festival, Kitab Festival, that aims at igniting a dialogue between contemporary South Asian writers in English and their British counterparts, starts here from April 7.

The festival promises to be eclectic in character with themes ranging from sexuality and human rights, to the incestuous ties between media and literature and the continuing afflictions of Bihar in an India, high on nuclear dreams.

Some of the exciting voices in the Indian and British literary scene who will be participating in "this festival of ideas" include writers and authors Amit Chaudhuri, Nadeem Aslam, Manju Kapur, Tabish Khair, William Dalrymple, Rana Dasgupta, celebrity actress Goldie Hawn, British MP Clare Short, Alexandra Pringle, editor-in-chief of Bloomsbury and diplomat and author Pavan K. Varma.

Editors from the BBC, The Observer, The Hindustan Times, Outlook,The Guardian, The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, Vogue, Harpers & Queen, GQ and Tatler will also participate in the festival.

However,  the festival, that seeks to promote a two-way dialogue between South Asian writing in English and British literature, will hardly have any British writer coming for the event

Claiming to be South Asia's "first international, chic and meaningful media and literary festival,". The Hindustan Times "Kitab (book) thought-fest", is the brainchild of Pablo Ganguli, a cultural impresario based in Morocco.

"The aim of the festival is to bring the culture and literature of India and the UK together. The idea is to bring an international UK angle to it," Ganguly told reporters at the Oxford Book Store Thursday night.

Ganguly is also working with the Festival of Muslim Cultures in Britain this year to organize British-Moroccan and British-Indian cultural events.

Why call Goldie Hawn, who has written her spiritual memoirs Lotus in the Mud, for this literary fest? "Because she writes and has something to share with fellow writers," says Ganguly.

Sanjay Suri's Brideless in Wembley and CP Surendran's debut novel An Iron Harvest will be launched during the Kitab festival.