well read - Lit For Life

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The third edition of The Hindu's annual literary festival, Lit For Life, will be held in February in two places – Delhi and Chennai.


The Hindu Lit for Life began on a small note in 2010 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Hindu's Literary Review, the only fully-fledged literary supplement in the country.

The event kicks off in Delhi on February 6, with a discussion on the economic history of modern India between Shankkar Aiyar, Brinda Karat, Bibek Debroy, and Jayanthi Natarajan. Following this, Steve McCurry takes visitors on a photo-journey through the Indian subcontinent. The shortlist for The Hindu Literary Prize 2012 will be announced during the course of the evening.

This will be followed by a two-day event in Chennai on February 16 and 17, which will feature discussions, lectures, and workshops. Nilanjana Roy, Jeet Thayil, and Jerry Pinto will explain what its like to write a stunning debut novel, there will be a poetry workshop, an art appreciation class, an inside look at writing and illustrating children's books, and more.

The finale on February 17 will be the announcement of the winner of The Hindu Literary Prize 2012, instituted to recognise the best Indian fiction in English every year.

Gratiaen Prize nominee

Ashok Ferrey

Ashok Ferrey was born in Sri Lanka but spent much of his early childhood in both East and West Africa where many of his stories are set. His first two books, Colpetty People and The Good Little Ceylonese Girl, were each shortlisted for Sri Lankas Gratiaen Award and his third, the novel Serendipity, was shortlisted for the State Literary Award of 2009. Ashok does the illustrations for all his books and says that that is the part he most enjoys. He lives in Colombo with his wife and two children.


Jerry Pinto

Jerry Pinto is a poet and journalist based in Mumbai. His first book of poems, Asylum, was released in 2004. His first book was Surviving Women (2000), a manual of gender politics, written for Indian men confused about the modern woman, which has gone into several reprints. He edited Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa (2006). He also co-edited Bombay Meri Jaan: Writings on Mumbai (2003), Confronting Love: Poems, and the soon-to-be-published A Pocketful of Wry: Indian Poets Also Laugh. In 2006, Helen: The Life and Times of an H Bomb was released, a study of Bollywoods gender and race politics and an affectionate examination of a dancing legend who had served the Mumbai film industry for nearly 30 years. The book won the National Film Award for the Best Book on Cinema.

Book reviews

This book reflects the visual feast and gastronomic paradise that is India, tempting visitors with its food and hospitality.

Tasting India
By Christine Manfield

Organised regionally, Tasting India features over 250 recipes for traditional and contemporary home-style Indian dishes, with everything from Bengali garam masala and dal-stuffed pastries to cabbage salad and spiced goat curry. Theres also a spice, ingredient, and equipment dictionary to help locate and understand the rich blend of flavours that are involved in Indian cookery.
Conran Octopus


Among the authors attending:

Jerry Pinto

The Greatest Show on Earthcelebrates all that is fascinating about Hindi cinema. Writers and industry insiders like Saadat Hasan Manto, Salman Rushdie, and Bhisham Sahni write about superstars and strugglers, filmmakers and playback singers, on-screen kisses and off-screen romance, the casting couch and censorship. Compiled and edited by one of India's most perceptive commentators on the film industry, this anthology is for anyone with an interest in Indian cinema and popular culture.


Wendell Rodricks

With stories of people and events, Moda Goa documents, for the very first time, the unique history of Goan costume. Through illustrations by European travellers, and photographs by Mark Sequeira and India's finest fashion photographers, and access to the clothing and jewellery of Goans, Wendell Rodricks reveals a rich tapestry of history, clothing, and passionate prose, taking the reader to the beauty and backwaters of India's golden state.



In Goat Days, Najeeb achieves his dream to work in the Gulf and earn enough money to send back home, only to be propelled by a series of incidents, grim and absurd, into a slave-like existence herding goats in the Saudi desert. Memories of his village and of his loving family haunt Najeeb, whose only solace is the companionship of goats. In the end, he devises a hazardous scheme to escape his desert prison.


Samit Basu

When Aman Sen steps off a plane to discover that he, and indeed everyone on his flight, now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, he wants to ensure that their new powers aren't wasted. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Turbulence is essentially about two questions: how would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?
Titan Books


Steve McCurry

American photographer Steve McCurry is universally recognised as one of today's finest image-makers and has won many of photography's top awards. Steve McCurry The Iconic Photographs brings together the most memorable and beautiful of his images, taken around the world over the last 30 years. Portraits of children, pilgrims, and farmers are presented alongside views of ancient temples, busy city streets, mountain landscapes, and quiet scenes of daily life.



Chennai, India
Distance: 3,302 km
Flight Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Frequency: Daily

> Book Now

Delhi, India
Distance: 2,572 km
Flight Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Frequency: 2 flights a day

> Book Now
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