THE KALAM LINE-UP - Some more speakers of Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2015, in association with Victoria Memorial Hall and The Telegraph

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 21.01.15

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee 

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is an economist who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in Calcutta and attended Presidency College before moving on to JNU and then Harvard. His book, Poor Economics, is widely acclaimed. His area of expertise is development economics and (privately) cooking up a storm. We have it from those who have tasted — and been smitten by — this masterchef’s creations.

Session: January 23. 

Cesare Bieller 

The ever-smiling Cesare Bieller is the Italian consul-general in Calcutta. He is an active participant in Calcutta’s cultural events. And his pet dog is called Google Singh!
Session: January 23.

Supriya Chaudhuri 

She is a scholar, editor, translator and professor emeritus at Jadavpur University. An alumnus of South Point High School, Presidency College and Oxford, she was an ace badminton player at Oxford and holds a black belt in karate.
Session: January 23.

Chandril Bhattacharya 

A Bengali columnist, writer and poet with a serious funny bone, he’s also the main lyricist for Bangla band Chandrabindoo. 
Sessions: January 24. 

Bani Basu 

The author and poet writes in Bengali and is possibly most noted for her novel Swet Patharer Thala, which was made into a film of the same name by Probhat Roy. Basu has received the Ananda Puraskar and Sahitya Akademi award. 
Session: January 25.


Srijato is a young Bengali poet and film lyricist. He was awarded the Ananda Puraskar in 2004. His filmography includes Autograph, Mishawr Rawhoshyo, Iti Mrinalini and more.
Sessions: January 25, 26 & 27. 

Subodh Sarkar

A Bengali poet, writer and editor with over 28 books to his name, he was awarded the Sahitya  Akademi award in 2013. He teaches English at City College, Calcutta.
Session: January 26. 

Ayesha Jalal 

Ayesha Jalal is a Pakistani-American historian and grand-niece of renowned Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Jalal laments the fact that history was never taught in her country the way it is in India. She attempts to fill this gap with her new book, The Struggle for Pakistan, which traces the country’s tumultuous history as well as the relations it keeps with its neighbours. 
Session: January 25. 

Aakar Patel 

Aakar Patel is a journalist, known to not mince his words. His comments on Sonia Gandhi not being qualified to be prime minister caused a furore. Recently he has been critical of Narendra Modi, saying that soon the PM will be “revealed as all talk and no fight”. Patel’s book, however, is not political in content; it is a translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s essays, Why I Write.  
Session: January 25. 

Jeet Thayil 

Poet, novelist and musician, he was the first Indian author to win the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his debut novel Narcopolis, which was on the 2012 Booker shortlist as well. He has been writing poetry since he was an adolescent and has received the Sahitya Akademi award for his collection, These Errors Are Correct. He’s currently working on his second novel. And he’s a delight to listen to. 
Sessions: January 26 & 27. 
Raghu Rai 

He’s a veteran photographer and photojournalist who has featured India extensively in books, and contributed pictures to innumerable publications in the country and beyond. He believes in either capturing mystery or revealing everything, as “the middle path is useless”. 
Session: January 26. 

Valmik Thapar 

Valmik Thapar is a naturalist, conservationist and writer. He was mentored by Fateh Singh Rathore, the “tiger guru”, and has worked closely with tigers all his life. He once saw 16 tigers in one day! He strongly feels that India’s wildlife will be left to rot because the government does not understand the gravity of the situation and that the tigers and tribals will suffer the most in our inflexible system. Thapar has written a number of books on tigers and India’s wildlife.  
l Session: January 26. 

Devdan Chaudhuri

Born in Calcutta, Devdan Chaudhuri was educated in India and England. He’s an entrepreneur in the art and hospitality sectors. Anatomy of Life, his debut novel, was nominated for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize 2013.   
Session: January 27.

Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. Based in New York, she traces her roots to Kerala and her narrative style has been compared to that of Jhumpa Lahiri. In 2014, she received a commendation from the US Congress for her contributions to the literary community.   
Sessions: January 26 & 27.

Shereen El Feki

A British journalist who specialises in health issues, she is Egyptian by origin and grew up in Canada. Her book, Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, is a result of travelling across the Arab region for five years, talking to people about sex. 
Session: January 27. 

Ira Trivedi 

Writer, yoga teacher, entrepreneur, Ira Trivedi wears many hats. Her latest book, India in Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century, is a work of non-fiction that describes the sexual revolution in India. Her novels like What Would You Do to Save the World? or There’s No Love on Wall Street are drawn from real-life experiences. 
Session: January 27. 

Sandip Roy 

A journalist based in Calcutta, Sandip Roy has previously worked as a radio host in the US. He has steered many sessions at Kalam and this time, he will be here with his debut novel, Don’t Let Him Know, an amalgamation of tales of love, loss, memory and family.   
lSessions: January 25, 26 & 27. 

Renu Balakrishnan 

She is a creative writing teacher at the St Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai. Four Aleys is her first novel, which she wrote “on scraps of paper and bits of envelope over eight years”. It traces the lives of four women in the same family, all called Aleys.  
Session: January 27.

Ashwin Sanghi

Ashwin Sanghi writes bestselling thrillers. He self-published his first novel, The Rozabal Line, under the pseudonym, Shawn Haigins, which is an anagram of his real name. Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key shot him to fame. He also collaborated with American writer James Patterson to write Private India. His latest is a work of non-fiction, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck. 
Session: January 27. 

Christopher C. Doyle 

Christopher C. Doyle’s novels, The Mahabharata Secret and The Mahabharata Quest, are historical thrillers. An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, he feels certain events in The Mahabharata could be explained with the help of science. 
l Session: January 27. 

Amitav Ghosh

In August, he’ll be publishing the most-awaited novel of 2015 — Flood of Fire, which will bring to an end the sweeping Ibis trilogy. Though Ghosh is not known to frequent literary festivals, he will be at Kalam to talk about his new book and more. Born in Calcutta and raised in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Ghosh is the author of critically acclaimed and well-loved titles like The Shadow Lines, Glass Palace, In An Antique Land, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Sea of Poppies and more. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages and he’s received numerous literary honours, including the Sahitya Akademi award and Ananda Puraskar. And he calls himself “a typical Bengali nerd”! 
Session: January 27. 

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