Spring Leaf | The Indian Express


Written by Paromita Chakrabarti
Published:September 29, 2017 12:32 am

Arundhati Roy and Perumal Murugan.

As part of their year-long celebration of their 30th anniversary, publishing house Penguin Random House (PRH) India has lined up an enviable programme for their Penguin Fever 2017, a take-off on the annual Spring Fever festival that brings together book lovers and authors in an intimate setting.

The six-day event, which will begin on October 26 at the India Habitat Centre, will see sessions by old favourites such as Ruskin Bond, Shobhaa De, Shashi Tharoor and Gurcharan Das, but, also, by authors who are not usually given to public appearances. The opening day will feature Arundhati Roy in her first public session in Delhi since the publication of her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, in June this year. Equally interesting is the proposed session on translation — The Line of Beauty — that will feature Perumal Murugan, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Kannan Sundaram and Bibek Debroy. While Faruqi, 82, is one of the foremost Urdu writers and critic, Tamil writer Murugan, 51, who had decided to quit writing in 2015 following protests against his novel Mathorubhagan (One Part Woman) by caste-based groups, returned to his literary career last year with an anthology of poetry after the Madras High Court dismissed all petitions seeking for a ban on his 2010 novel.

Even as Donald Trump does a flip-flop on his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the festival will see a panel discussion on environmental degradation, featuring Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment, Pradip Krishen and Prerna Bindra. Bestselling romance writers such as Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Dutta and Sudeep Nagarkar and actor Vidya Balan, who will be in conversation with Shobhaa De, will set the tone for more populist sessions. The evening events will be preceded by day-long sales of books.

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