Dec. 14: The 13th North East Book Fair, which started today, will miss Arundhati Roy and Chetan Bhagat.
Organisers All Assam Publishers and Book-Sellers Association today said the writers, whom they had approached earlier, would not be able to attend the 13-day event because of personal reasons.
We had approached these writers through proper channels for their participation in the fair. But they wont be able to make it, president of the association Ajit Kumar Barman said.
Award-winning Odia writer Pratibha Roy and other regional writers took part in the inauguration ceremony of the fair today. Roy stressed on the importance of an inter-state book fair, translation of regional literary work and childrens literature. We have book fairs in Odisha. I have seen this book fair today. Why cannot we have some inter-state book fairs where all states can participate together? Roy asked.
The book fairs here are a far cry from other literary festivals like the Jaipur Literature Festival, where the crowd gets to mingle with writers like William Dalrymple, Hari Kunzru, J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, to name a few.
From book reading sessions to autograph signing, such festivals are the most sought after, for readers as well as non-readers.
Besides a seminar, book release functions and others, the 13-day fiesta will have different activities for the visitors. The theme this year is Burhi Aair Xadhu as the book has completed 100 years of its publication this year, Roy said.
If you are looking forward to get an autographed copy of Chetan Bhagats Revolution 2020, you will be disappointed for more than one reason. Unlike other book fairs or festivals there will be no autograph signing sessions here.
However, regional writers such as Rita Chowdhury and Nirupama Borgohain will be present in various seminars and discussions during the fair.
There are 158 participants this year with around 100 regional publishers. However, the major publishing houses such as Oxford and others have their distributors here. A discount of 10 per cent will be up for grabs on every purchase. The shifting of the book fair venue from Judges Field to AEI Field in Chandmari is a dampner. Many could not participate owing to lack of space, Barman said. The fair which started today will continue till December 26.