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Roy, Nandy book book fair berths

Dec. 3: Booker prize-winning author Arundhati Roy and poet Pritish Nandy have confirmed their participation at the 14th Northeast Book Fair, which will be held at the playground of Assam Engineering Institute at Chandmari.

The fair will be a 12-day event, starting December 30.

Giripada Deb Choudhury, adviser to of the All Assam Publisher and Book Sellers Association, the organiser of the fair, said the writers were requested to attend on the inaugural day.

“But because of their busy schedule, they will not be able to attend on the first day, but within the first few days,” he said.

Choudhury said besides those from different parts of the country, including Tripura, publishers and booksellers from Pakistan will also take part in the fair. He said the response from the publishers were tremendous.

“Till now, we have received confirmation from more than 300 publishers and booksellers. We will allow only established firms to put up stalls,” said Choudhury. “One publication house will come from Pakistan and three from Tripura.”

The association was set up in 1953 with an aim to protect the overall interest of the publishers and booksellers of Northeast and promote reading habits among all sections of people. The association maintains and co-ordinates a relation between writers, publishers and booksellers. It is also associated with the Federation of Indian Publishers, New Delhi, and Publishers and Book Sellers Guild, Calcutta.

The organisers are working hard to make the book fair an attractive one with different programmes almost every day. There will be seminar to recall 50 years of glorious journey of mobile theatre, poets’ meet and competitions for students.

Choudhury said a day would be dedicated to writer Laxminath Bezbarua to recall his contribution to Assamese literature. “We will celebrate the day as Bezbarua Day,” he said.

Choudhury said tribute would be paid to poet Hiren Bhattacharjya. The book fair will highlight the literature and culture of Karbi Anglong district through discussions and cultural shows, he added.

Writers and cultural personalities will attend the book fair everyday and cultural programmes will be organised in the evenings.

Last year, the fair witnessed a huge footfall where books of worth Rs 1 crore were sold.

Having received poor footfall at Maniram Dewan Trade Centre for the past two years, the state government this time organised its Guwahati Book Fair at the playground of Assam Engineering Institute.