Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kovalam Literary Festival to make Delhi debut

The annual Kovalam Literary Festival will make its debut stopover in the national capital Sept 29 with a daylong session at the India International Centre (IIC), founder-director of the festival Binoo K. John said on Monday.

The stopover in being held prior to the main festival in Thiruvananthapuram Oct 1-2.

The line-up includes Mohammed Hanif, Aamer Hussain, Fatima Bhutto from Pakistan and Shehan Karunatilake, the author of “Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Matthew” from Sri Lanka.

Karunatilake won the Gratiaen Award for his book.

“Hanif is expected to read from his new novel ‘Our Lady of Alice Bhatti’. The India International Centre is sponsoring the mini-edition of the Kovalam Literary Festival. An event in Delhi will give us leverage and will help brand the festival,” John said.

“Delhi has book events throughout the year and an extremely aware audience will get a day’s extravaganza with a music concert at the end,” John added.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Smoke on the water

In the second of his ‘Ibis’ trilogy, Ghosh is at the pinnacle of his prowess. It’s a triumph, a truly global novel

We’re just halfway into the year, but if there’s one novel in 2011 that will make the pulse race and the mind wonder with sweep, scale, power and a riveting, multi-threaded story, it is Amitav Ghosh’s River of Smoke. Coming three years after Sea of Poppies, which was the first volume in the Ibis trilogy, the middle panel of the triptych is even vaster, denser with action and richer in backdrop.

Poppies was set primarily in the Calcutta of 1838—the fulcrum of the British empire in the east, where trade was the lubricating agent of colonization—and on board the Ibis, transporting indentured workers to Mauritius, along with convicts. But River of Smoke abandons this centre, for the most part, stretching its action from Mauritius in the West to Canton in the East, with passing cameos by other parts of the world, such as the island of St Helena where Napoleon is exiled after losing the Battle of Waterloo, which puts in an appearance in the novel.

Much of the action continues to take place on board merchant ships—either in mid-voyage, or anchored off the coast of China, as events come to a slow boil in the world’s largest market for the opium that British and Indian traders make a killing on. The line from the poppy fields of eastern India is thus drawn all the way to Canton. Here, local opium dealers supplying a willing population of addicts not only help reverse the trade deficit of the British empire with China—while adding to the wealth of individual opium traders from all countries who’ve joined the gold rush—they also lead the Chinese empire to clamp down on opium imports. The outcome, of course, will be the Opium Wars, in not one but two editions.

Full review here Mint 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The journey from book to a movie

"But the book was so much better than the movie!!" One thing you can hear quite frequently when a book turns into a movie. Sure, we like to see a movie based on the book we just read.

But does the movie justify the book at all? A book is a cauldron of piping hot fantasies and situations which when read, springs to life inside your head. It is fascinating to think that there is a small corner in your head that turns words into images. But what happens if the book doesn't meet your imagination?

Most of us get excited when we hear that our favourite book is going to turn into a movie. We might even get all excited and go see the movie. The movie would have been incredibly, no doubt. And with all that excitement you go watch the movie. What if the movie is a total buzzkill? The scenes you envisioned cut thanks to the time factor (and also money!). Popular movies are based on books; from classics such Wuthering heights to the latest Edward fever, everything seems to be turning celluloid. So the ultimate question here is; the book or movie? Which one would you prefer? It's not an easy answer. The answer however lies somewhere in between.

Full report here Times of India

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Now, Archie comics in Indian avatar

The iconic red-haired Archie, a comic book heartthrob with a perpetually hassled look and two girlfriends, will soon be dancing to Bollywood numbers in the book’s Indian avatar published in Hindi and Malayalam. Seventy years after its birth in the US, 12 titles of the popular Archie comics will be published in 2011 by Variety Book Depot and distributed by EuroBooks, a leading publisher of children’s books in India, a release by the publisher said late Monday.

Commenting on the launch of the book in Hindi and Malayalam, Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics, said: “Archie Comics have entertained fans for several generations. We wanted to give our fans in India something they could relate to. The move is to bring in some Indian flavour to the comic. It will be the same Archie, the same Veronica and Betty but with a ‘desi’ twist.”

“Fans can now expect Archie and Veronica to dance to the popular Bollywood number ‘Aakhon ki gustakhiyaa’ or see the gang sing some popular songs like the college classic ‘Purani jeans’ and oldie ‘Kankariya maar ke jagaya’ as smart chicks walk past the brood,” he added.

The company plans to launch 36 titles by 2012.

Full report here Hindustan Times