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Chance at fair to chat up authors

Dec. 7: Book lovers here will get an opportunity to interact with Arindam Bhattacharyya, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who has penned a novel in Chinese, during the 14th Northeast Book Fair starting from December 30.

Top publishing houses from across the country and one from Bangladesh are likely to take part in the fair at Assam Engineering Institute playground at Chandmari, which will continue till January 10.

The fair is organised by All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association.

Talking to reporters, secretary of the association, Dhiraj Goswami, said Bhattacharya would attend the book fair on January 6.

“Arindam Bhattacharyya, who is from Assam, has written a novel in Chinese. He will attend our North East Day programme on January 6 and will interact with visitors, too. He is currently based in Patna. Writers from other northeastern states will also take part in the programme,” Goswami said.

Goswami said Dhaka-based Bangla Academy would take part for the first time while publishing houses from Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Siliguri, Hyderabad, Patna, Agartala, Chennai and Guwahati will put up their stalls. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi is likely to inaugurate the book fair.

“On the day of inauguration we will have a meet the author programme where people will get the opportunity to interact with writer Arundhati Roy. The next day, a statue of Sahitya Rathi Lakshminath Bezbaruah will be unveiled, as part of our programme to commemorate 150 years of his birth centenary,” Goswami said.

A face-to-face programme will be held with Calcutta-based writer Partha Chattopadhyay and journalist from Bangladesh, Salim Samad, on January 2.

A number of booksellers will be felicitated the next day.

Another highlight of the fair will be a special programme on mobile theatre of Assam, which completed 50 years.

“Mobile theatre is unique for us but very few people outside the state are aware of it. Even people in Tripura do not know about our mobile theatre, as very little has been written about it in other languages. So, we have submitted a proposal to National Book Trust to publish books on mobile theatre in different languages and the trust agreed to our proposal,” he said.

Achyut Lahkar, known as an icon of mobile theatre, will be felicitated on the occasion.

The association has selected Karbi Anglong as the focal theme of this year’s book fair. “The basic purpose is to highlight the rich Karbi culture and literature. A Karbi cultural troupe will perform in the evening,” Goswami said.