The 5th edition of the Kerala Literature Festival will commence from 16 January in Kozhikode. Held near the Arabian Sea between 16 to 19 January, it is promised to be the biggest bilingual event of its kind in the country, with more than 2.75 lakh attendees and five stands on the sands of the city, as per reports by IANS.
People from more than 14 nations will be participating in the festival including authors like William Dalrymple, Perumal Murugan, Benyamin and Shashi Tharoor who is also serving as a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram.
“I am particularly proud of the literary traditions of Kerala; there’s a genuine waking up to the international appeal of writing in Kerala,” Tharoor said at the event’s curtain-raiser which he hosted at his residence earlier this week.
“The festival is truly bilingual; you’ll have discussions in Malayalam on Malayalam books, but you will also have discussions in English on books published in English and of course their translations are also available extensively,” he added.
Tharoor further said that he first heard Jean-Paul Sarte and Albert Camus “when my cousins and uncles were reading their Malayali translations in the early 60s before I was old enough to myself discover them in English.”
“So, that’s the kind of literary culture we have in Kerala and this extraordinary capacity for enjoying literature is something that the rest of India could genuinely be inspired by,” he said.
The festival’s next year programme will be introducing new formats like debates, straight talk, book discussions and reader’s sessions besides ten minutes slots given to the audience to talk about an original idea. The debates, and discussions are done on a variety of themes ranging from literature, history, science, journalism, cinema and environment.
“Islam and women, the entry of women to Sabarimala, the Ayodhya verdict, the emergence of community dialects and tribal tongues as literary languages, the new short story, new versions of Don Quixote, the novels of Miguel Delibes, cartography, new discoveries about the early Indians, robotics and the future of mankind, the role of social media in an opinion formation, current trends in art, music, and caste, literature in the time of trauma etc. will be some of the themes to be discussed,” K. Satchidanandan, the festival’s director said.