In good news for bibliophiles, the much-awaited 13th edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), curated by Oxford Bookstore, will be held from January 21-23, 2022, announced the organisers.
The three-day literary extravaganza is to be held at the Park Mansions on Park Street and is expected to see participation by over 50 authors, poets, screenplay writers, thinkers, sportspersons, journalists and actors.
It will host sessions virtually on the inaugural day and offline on January 22 and 23, the organisers said at the curtain raiser event in the national capital on Wednesday.
Former badminton player Pullela Gopichand, movie critic Anupama Chopra and French writer Patrick Deville are among the speakers of the festival.
"The 13th edition of the AKLF, sets its sights on our fast evolving world, and the changes that lie in store in the years ahead. Curated meticulously to meet the challenges of the hybrid/virtual format, with delegate participation from across three time zones, this acceleration to digital connectivity has not stopped us from moving forward with this key initiative," said Maina Bhagat, director of AKLF since its first edition in 2010.
"The festival, packed with thought provoking, entertaining and informative sessions, is a celebration of the written word, in the time of Covid," she said.
AKLF aims to reflect the city's vibrancy of thought, its engagement with the literary world at large and explores literature as part of its tangible and intangible heritage.
The curtain raiser event at The Park hotel in New Delhi also saw the announcement of the longlist of the 'Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize', now in its seventh edition.
The longlist, featuring 21 books ranging across a variety of genres, include Perumal Murugan's novel, Estuary, designed by Gavin Morris; author Nandini Sengupta's historical fiction, The Blue Horse, designed by Damini Gupta; Shylashri Shankar's book on Indian cuisine, Turmeric Nation, designed by Maithili Doshi; Raziuddin Aquil book on Sufism, Days In The Life of a Sufi, designed by Misha Oberoi, and Robert Elgood book on historic Indian firearms The Maharaja of Jodhpur's Guns, designed by Shashi Bushan Prasad.
Two Hindi translations, Chaiwaad (designed by Sanjukta Roy) and Garv Se Kaho (designed by Sanatan Dinda) are also part of the list.
The annual prize, initiated in 2015 to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary work of illustrators, designers, and publishers throughout India, carries a cash prize along with a trophy.
Other books that made it to the list include names like Ratno Dholi authored by Jenny Bhatt and designed by Harshad Marathe; Anubha Yadav's The Anger of Saintly Men, designed by Bhavi Mehta; Manpreet J Singh's The Sikh Next Door: An Identity in Transition, designed by Mehek Malhotra; Giggling Monkey Studio; The Illustrated Ramayana, designed by Neha Ahuja.
The 21 books were longlisted by a jury panel consisting of author and columnist Shobhaa De, politician-writer Shashi Tharoor, art historian-curator Alka Pande, along with writer Kunal Basu, and Priti Paul, director of Apeejay Surrendra Group.