| Chief minister Nitish Kumar, seen here with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi (right) and education minister P.K. Shahi (left), inaugurates the 19th Patna Book Fair on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Residents of Patna may have missed the Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty but they can pick up a textual alternative, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, at the Patna Book Fair.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (whose previous venture, The Hurt Locker, won the Best Film at the Oscars in 2010), Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for Best Picture and picked up the Best Sound Editing award this year. It was never released in Patna. Military memoir, No Easy Day, also provides a first-hand narrative of the Abbottabad operation.
Written by Mark Owen (the pseudonym of a Navy SEAL who took part in Operation Neptune Spear) and Kevin Maurer, the book was released in September last year and immediately found a place in The New York Times, Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com bestseller lists. For the next 11 days, it would be available at the 19th Patna Book Fair, which was inaugurated on Wednesday.
“I think a book like No Easy Day would find favour with the avid readers in Patna,” said R.K. Agarwal, a dealer of Penguin and proprietor of India Book Centre in the city. “I have been a regular at the book fair. People here love to read thrillers and fiction, so I think the Shiva trilogy would also be very popular.”
An imaginative re-telling of the myth of Shiv by banker-turner-writer Amish Tripathi, the three novels — The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and the latest The Oath of the Vayuputras — have been immensely popular.
Businessman S.K. Sharma flipped through the final part of the trilogy before picking up a book that he least expected to find. “Even in my wildest dreams I did not imagine that I would get a Feluda book in Patna.”
Feluda, or Pradosh C. Mitter, is an iconic fictional detective created by filmmaker and litterateur Satyajit Ray. While he is a household name in Bengal, the novels and stories recounting his adventures are also available in English translation by Gopa Majumdar. “I have lived in Calcutta for a long time and I am a great Feluda fan. I am so happy to find the English translation,” said Sharma, promising to come back for more.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who inaugurated the fair, was also very impressed. “Each year, the book fair is organised in November. This time, because of some reasons, it was delayed,” he said.
H.L. Gulati, chairman, Patna Book Fair, said: “There are more than 50,000 publications at the fair. You will find books of all kind here, and for every one.”
The theme of the fair this year is empowerment of women.