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Tata Literature Live 2017: What to expect from the 8th edition of the Mumbai LitFest

By November 16, 2017No Comments

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Bibliophiles in Mumbai have something to look forward to, as the eighth edition of the Tata Literature Live! comes to the city. Over 100 authors and thinkers will be participating in the Mumbai LitFest, which will take place at the NCPA and Prithvi Theatre over 16-19 November.

On the roster for the eighth edition of the festival are personalities like Thomas Friedman, Devdutt Pattanaik, Shashi Tharoor, Marcus du Sautoy, AC Grayling, Homi K Bhabha, Catharine McKinnon, Gary Shteyngart, Mohammed Yunus, Boria Majumdar, Jeet Thayil, Mukul Kesavan, Shiv Visvanathan, TM Krishna, Kiran Nagarkar, Jerry Pinto, Teesta Setalvad, and Francine Prose among others. They’ll be part of panel discussions, lectures, workshops and book launches (also, performances) where the emphasis will be on “stories that engage, enthrall, and entice”.

The festival’s founder and director Anil Dharker said in an official statement: “For me, the most enthralling part is the dialogue and discourse that these distinguished individuals bring to the festival. They are masterful raconteurs, all, and brilliant intellectuals, whose own life experiences could probably power a few riveting tales too! It is a joy to interact with them, have your perspective challenged, and revel in the learning. I have enjoyed this part of the festival each year, and I’m sure this year will be no different.”

Tata Lit

Day 1:

“You Gave Us Cricket, We Gave You Curry. Who Got The Better Deal?” — Oxford historian Peter Frankopan and Shashi Tharoor, in an intellectual slugfest on who got the better deal from the British Empire.

Book In Focus: 1984 — Is Big Brother watching us? Allan Sealy (author), Francine Prose (New York Times bestselling novelist), Jeet Thayil (poet, novelist and musician) and Margaret Drabble (DBE, novelist and critic) weigh in.

The Angry Tide — Aggressive Hinduism is all around us. Just pick up the morning newspaper. Mukul Kesavan, Arun Shourie  and Thomas Blom Hansen who has studied riots in India first-hand, try to dissect the phenomenon.

We are living in a ‘nanny state’ — Are we in India already at a stage where the government tells you what to eat, drink, dress and think, just like a nanny does? Or is the government working to clean up society? For the motion: Makarand Paranjape and Shashi Tharoor; against the motion: Chandan Mitra and Sunil Kumar Alagh. Chaired by Vir Sanghvi.

Day 2: 

Lynchpin — Looking at the politics of mob violence. Panelists: Naresh Fernandes (editor of, Teesta Setalvad (senior journalist, educationist and activist), Thomas Blom Hansen.

Tata Literature Live! 2017 Poet Laureate Keki Daruwalla in conversation with Ranjit Hoskote

Thank You For Being Late: Demystifying the Age of Acceleration — Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman on how to cope with the dizzying pace of change in our times.

Launch Of Talking Films — Javed Akhtar recites his recent poems in Urdu, which Shabana Azmi will translate into English. To be followed by a three-way conversation with Anil Dharker.

X&Y — Professor of Mathematics at Oxford Marcus du Sautoy holds forth on the magic of numbers.

Day 3: 

North or South: Which way is the economy headed? — Panelists include Naina Lal Kidwai (country head – HSBC), P Chidambaram (former Union Minister of Finance ), YV Reddy (chairman of the 14th Finance Commission of India). Chaired by Ajit Ranade (chief economist with the Aditya Birla Group).

Counting Every Vote — We are responsible for one of the largest democratic exercises a world and the great Indian election is truly a feat in itself. But does our duty as responsible citizens end there? Arun Ferreira (political activist and author), N Ram (chairman and former editor-in-chief of The Hindu Group of newspapers), SY Quraishi (former chief election commissioner of India and author) weigh in.

Chest Thumping — ‘Nationalism’ is a subject now much debated in our daily lives, and much shouted about on nightly television news. Homi K Bhabha (author and professor), Makarand Paranjape (professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University), Mukul Kesavan (historian, novelist and political and social essayist) in a panel discussion.

Day 4:

Through the Looking Glass — The future of museums discussed by some of the world’ most eminent names.

The God Argument — AC Grayling (author, professor and judge of the Booker Prize) has strong views, elegantly expressed, on religion, the existence of God and the eternal mystery of life.

Dying to Write — Three crime writers (Daniel Waddell, Manjiri Prabhu, Ravi Subramanian) look for the hidden clues for writing mystery novels.

TATA Literature Live! Awards followed by Playing on Twenty Tongues, a speech by Lifetime Achievement Awardee Girish Karnad.


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