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Bookworms meet authors

After sauntering through the vibrant Kala Ghoda festival stretch on Tuesday, a bunch of people headed towards the David Sassoon Library garden to acquaint themselves with their favourite authors and some debutantes, reports Purva Mehra.

mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2010 01:10 IST
Purva Mehra

After sauntering through the vibrant Kala Ghoda festival stretch on Tuesday, a bunch of people headed towards the David Sassoon Library garden to acquaint themselves with their favourite authors and some debutantes.

The event, Fresh Off the Shelf, featured writers Dilip D’Souza, Deepanjana Pal, Amrita Choudhury and Mathew Menacherry, each of who released a new book earlier this year.

An avid blogger, D’Souza talked about Road Runner: An Indian Quest in America, a book that unlike his previous ones on the Narmada required him to rely on the journeys in his mind instead of reams of data. When asked why he retraced his journey through America (he studied there), he said it was to challenge the tradition of Frenchmen writing on the country.

“But even though my thinking started getting coloured by the American experience, I was obsessed with the idea of nationalism and patriotism,” he said.

Deepanjana Pal, an art critic with a popular fortnightly magazine, spoke about the processes of researching the life of artist Raja Ravi Varma for her book, The Painter: A Life of Ravi Varma. “He’s been dead 104 years so there were no primary resources for the book. I asked friends in Ivy League schools to raid their archives and met with as many people known to him,” said Pal.

Pal was intrigued by Varma because to her he was “the first modern artist that India produced. Art has the potential to be esoteric but I wanted the story to come alive as though the readers really knew him because that’s how I felt after all my research,” she said.

Kaveri Lalchand, co-founder of the Chennai-based Blaft publishing house, announced the launch of The Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction Part 2.

This anthology like the first would have translations of popular Tamil pulp, found at Wheelers and tea stalls. “These books enjoy one to two lakh print runs. Pulp fiction author Rajesh Kumar has 1400 novels to his credit and releases about five a month. We’re also working on translating the novels of Hindi pulp fiction giant Surendra Mohan Pathak,” said Rakesh Khanna, editor at Blaft.