Renowned novelist and social activist Mahasweta Devi will represent India as the main speaker at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month.
Mahasweta Devi, crowned with many awards, including Jnanpith, Sahitya Akademi and Magsaysay, will be the main cultural speaker representing India at the world's largest book fair beginning October four.
Sources in Publishers and Booksellers Guild, organiser of Kolkata book fair, said here today that it had been given a unique opportunity of presenting a profile of Mahasweta as the key speaker for 'the downtrodden and marginalised' people of India.
The caption of the project, they said, was "Story of the Downtrodden People in Bengali literature with special focus on Mahasweta".
The guild sources said it would present a complete pictorial exhibition, documentary film and a colourful brochure on the novelist's life and literature at the main foyer of Frankfurt Book Fair, 2006, representing the theme 'India'.
Mahasweta Devi told reporters that she was pained to observe that reading habit has declined.
"Book reading has almost become a thing of the past. How many people are found taking interest in reading books?" she said.