Lit fest to show women power in contemporary Indian literature

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Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) From a Jnanpith laureate to Sahitya Akademi award winners, from a sex worker-turned-author to a domestic help-turned-writer, the upcoming LIC Gateway LitFest here will feature more than 50 women writers from varied backgrounds.

The fourth edition of the literary event will kick off on Thursday and will reach its culmination on Saturday.

Representing a true slice of women power in contemporary Indian literature, the organisers (Mumbai-based Malayalam publication “Kaakka” and leading communication consultancy Passion4communication) of the festival said that the lit fest will be a treat for booklovers.

Apart from award-winning writers, the key attractions will be Nalini Jameela, who was a sex worker for long and launched herself into the world of letters with her autobiography; and Baby Haldar, who worked as a domestic help before she started writing her best-selling autobiography.

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Also participating in the literary event will be Nitu Bhattacharya, who works as the DIG in Kashmir; Patricia Mukhim, the editor of a popular daily in Meghalaya; Neena Kulkarni, an actress; and Pradnya Daya Pawar, a leading Dalit-feminist poet.

The long list of writers also includes famed film-maker Aparna Sen (Bengali), Shobhaa De (English), Anju Makhija (English), and Devika J. (Malayalam), among others.

“The LIC Gateway LitFest has established itself as the largest national platform that brings together talents from different streams of Indian literature. This time it is going to be the largest gathering of young and experienced women writers from across India, representing 17 languages,” said Festival Director Mohan Kakkanadan.

Well-known authors writing in Assamese, Ahirani, Bengali, Bhojpuri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Khasi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Kosali, Malayalam, Marathi, Manipuri, Mythili, Odiya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil will be attending the three-day literary jamboree.

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“What makes it special this time will be the rich and diverse repertoire of women writers. One session is specially dedicated to the seven young woman writers who won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar last year, while another session will bring together those women who made a mark with their candid and open narrations,” said Executive Director of the festival Joseph Alexander.

A book exhibition, poetry readings and networking events will add sheen to the event that will also discuss different trends in translation, reading habits, Dalit uprising in writings, and involvement of women in theatre, among other topics.

–IANS

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