Sunday, January 29, 2012

Literature Festivals in Jaipur, Galle; Award for Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman

Jumbo Editorial Team

The month of January 2012 witnessed a couple of well-attended literature festivals, both of them being premier annual events. There was the 6th Galle Literature Festival in Sri Lanka from January 18 to 22 while the 5th Jaipur Literature Festival was organized in India from January 20 to 24.

The Galle Literature Festival attracted a host of international speakers with the famed author Richard Dawkins also gracing the occasion. Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore was there to enthrall the audience by speaking on his book Jerusalem: The Biography besides throwing light on the myths, mosques, churches, temples and the mixed-up glorious past of the historic city.

Biographers Nayantara Sahgal and Katherine Frank shared their thoughts on the political career of former Indian Minister, Indira Gandhi, while introducing their book Indira Gandhi: Her Road to Power. The popular figure of Shashi Taroor, an author and a former Minister, also remained one of the most sought after personalities in the five-day festival.

The Jaipur Literature Festival is acclaimed as the largest literary festival in Asia-Pacific and the most prestigious celebration of national and international literature to be held in India. It encompasses a range of readings, talks, debates, performances, children’s workshops and interactive activities organized in the beautiful heritage property, Diggi Palace in the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur.

It is also regarded as the Kumbh Mela of Indian and international writing, drawing in writers and readers from across India and the wider world, from America, Europe, Africa and from across the breadth of South Asia, the brightest, most brilliant, funny, moving and remarkable authors come to Jaipur every January.

One of the features of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 was the presentation of DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012 to Sri Lanka’s debut novelist Shehan Karunatilaka whose worthy effort ‘ Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew’ earned her the prestigious award. A beaming Karunatilaka received the glittering trophy from Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen Mother of Bhutan.

The jury chairperson, Ira Pande, described Chinaman as a brilliant narration of that is both great and sad about South Asia and in that sense it brings a world to the reader that needs to be seen outside the region. It may be recalled that the inaugural DSC prize was clinched Pakistan’s author, H M Naqvi, for his debut novel, Horne Boy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Italian author inaugurates 12-day Kolkata Book Fair

Jumbo Editorial Team

The celebrated Italian author, Beppe Severgni, inaugurated the 36th Kolkata Book Fair, considered one of the world’s largest in terms of footfalls, in the Eastern Indian metropolis on January 25. The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, was also present on the occasion alongwith dignitaries from the cultural and the literary world.

The fair, with Italy as the theme country, has attracted literary majors like Vikram Seth, Ruskin Bond and Chetan Bhagat in the 12-day event. The fair will continue until February 5.

"I come from a country where family matters a lot. I come from a country that loves its foods. I see that the passion here and in my country is similar. We can do lot of things together from literature to industry," Severgni was quoted as saying in the inauguration ceremony.

"We are very much delighted to welcome you. We have decided that to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanada we will come up with a collection of works of Vivekananda. We will also come up with a collection of works of Kazi Nazrul Islam," the West Bengal Chief Minister said while addressing the inaugural programme.

The 36th Kolkata Book Fair has many 'firsts' in its bag. For the first time it features a Kolkata Literary Meet (KLM) organised as part of the fair where renowned writers such as Vikram Seth, Ruskin Bond, Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Tharoor, Mohammed Hanif, Amit Chaudhuri and Kunal Basu would be present.

The popular Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam, French writer Nicolas Wild, graphic novelist Nicholas Wilde, Scottish travel writer and essayist Kapka Kassabova, Canadian author Craig Taylor, Italian best-selling author Alexandro Baricco are also scheduled to be present.

This was for the first time that the book fair is inaugurated in the presence of a woman chief minister of the state. Another first was a musical concert at the inaugural ceremony, while a signature song sung by Kaushiki Desikan and Monali Thakur and composed by Shantanu Moitra enthralled the audience. A concert focussing on the impact of foreign compositions on Rabindra Nath Tagore's songs brought a melodious end to the programme.

Kolkata Book fair has been a part and parcel of Bengal's culture since its inception in 1976. The Kolkata Book Fair which is also the world's largest non-trade book fair has earned the distinction of being the Asia's largest book fair. It is the world's third largest annual conglomeration of books after the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair.

Jimmy Engineer’s In Search of My Master launched in Karachi

Jumbo Editorial Team

Famous artist Jimmy Engineer’s biography titled ‘In Search of My Master’ was launched at the picturesque DA Golf Club in Karachi on January 27. The book, authored by noted art critic, Marjorie Husain, is the maiden venture of the BBCL Publications. Prior to the official launch of the book, an exhibition of Engineer’s work was also held.

Engineer, in his speech, recalled that he was five years old when he began drawing pictures with powder and water colours. At the age of six, he fell ill and the doctors told his parents that both his kidneys had failed. He, recovered, however and has been painting since then.

He had secured admission in the National College of Arts where, despite being passionate about fine arts, he chose for the design section because of better job prospects.

“People ask me why I have made different types of paintings over the years. My reply is simple. Because I consider myself a student of art and would never acquire mastery over it. There’s only one Master, Al Musawwir, and hence the name of the book,” Engineer stated.

He informed the audience that he was involved in more than 50 walks for different causes, having observed a lot of suffering in 1994 while doing a walk from Karachi to Peshawar which prompted him to reach out to the sufferers.

Author Marjorie Husain described ‘In Search of My Master’ as a team effort, adding that the biography talks more about his art rather than emphasizing on Engineer’s social work although the aspect of a social crusader has been mentioned occasionally.

S M Shahid, Arif Bukhari, Pervez Iqbal, Waqar Malik and Atif Bajwa also spoke in the ceremony which was conducted by Tauqeer Muhajir.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

‘Critical Editions’ of 14 books launched in Hyderabad

Jumbo Editorial Team

The exploits of Lemuel Gulliver in the land of Lilliputs and giants are well and truly known. The much acclaimed classic ‘Gulliver's Travels', written by Jonathan Swift has remained a popular favourite book for children down the ages. But not many people may be aware of the fact that Swift also provided a critical political commentary on the then prevailing conditions in Europe through this book.

In an effort to provide such critical analysis to students at an affordable price, the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) launched 14 books, on January 26, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

The books included ‘Critical Editions' of classics like Gulliver's Travels, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Jane Austen's Emma along with other translations and compilations. The books have been published in association with Orient Black Swan Publications.

The books were translated and edited by EFLU faculty and are being made available in the market by Orient Black Swan. Apart from these classics, the books also included a Russian translation of short Telugu poetry called ‘Nanilu' written by Prof. Gopi, a German-English-Telugu Trilingual Dictionary, and, translations of German, Russian and French books into English.

“Studying and understanding these books is very important for students of literature. While students who attend classes have the privilege of receiving such knowledge from the lecturers, the ones who take a correspondence course are often deprived of such knowledge. These books will be helpful for those who take the courses through distance education,” Paul Gunashekar, Dean Publications, EFLU said.

The books were launched by the famous Osmania University Vice Chancellor, S Satyanarayana, at a function in EFLU. Nine students, who had represented EFLU in various international forums to present their research papers, were also felicitated at the function. A total of 44 students from EFLU participated in various international seminars.

Fethullah Gülen's latest book Yaşatma İdeali launched in İstanbul

Jumbo Editorial Team

Renowned Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen's latest book, “Yaşatma İdeali,” (The Ideal to Let Others Live), was launched at a forum in İstanbul, Turkey, on January 24 The event, organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), was held at the Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel.

Gülen, in his message to the participants of the gathering dwelled on the importance of self-sacrifice for others.

“As you will agree, a person who only thinks of himself is not a human at all, but a human with a deficiency. The way real humanity can be achieved is through self-sacrifice for others. The value of a person in the eyes of God can be measured by the level of their benevolence. The most obvious sign of a high level of benevolence is sacrificing one's personal pleasures and joys for the happiness of others,” Gülen observed in his message.

A panel discussion sharing the name of Gülen's book was organized for the event. Professor Mehmet Altan, also a journalist and writer, presided over the panel. Delivering a speech to the panel, journalist Şahin Alpay talked about the contribution made by Gülen's followers through the opening of schools all around the world. He said these schools are of great benefit to humanity and will play a significant role in raising new generations.

The Gülen movement is a group of volunteers engaged in interfaith and intercultural dialogue, inspired by the ideas of Fethullah Gülen, whose teachings promote mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. Now residing in the US, Gülen has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries, along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world.

“Recently, the identity of the individual has been highlighted while being a human being has been placed on the back burner. We should not forget humanitarian values just for the sake of promoting individual identity. People are thirsty for dialogue, but despite this we have become a society in which we are alienated from each other. I have learned much from the speeches made here. It is obvious that I will learn much from the book, too,” Media Association President, Salih Memecan, remarked.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NBC News having stakes in E-Book Publishing

Jumbo Editorial Team

Book Publishing, whether conventional one or the growing electronic one, seems destined to stay and flourish. The famed NBC News has now landed in the territory of E-Book Publishing.

The E-books are very much in demand hence attracting the entrepreneurs desiring diversification. NBC News has announced plans to launch NBC Publishing, a venture dedicated to releasing interactive e-books for tablets and e-readers.

According to reports, the project will be spearheaded by NBC News and will leverage NBC's existing content assets from shows like Dateline, NBC Nightly News, Today, Peacock Productions, and NBC's archives as well as network and film properties including Telemundo, NBC Sports, and Universal Pictures. The plan is to launch at least 30 new e-book titles in the first year.

NBC Vice President, Michael Fabiano, has reportedly been appointed General Manager of NBC Publishing and the company has hired two publishing veterans to lead its new efforts: Peter Costanzo, previously with F+W Media and Perseus Books Group, has been named creative director, and Brian Perrin, most recently with Rodale, has been named director of digital development..

"In general, text will come from titles already published, direct relationships with authors, and in some cases from the staff of NBC News. We will also utilize a network of freelance professionals as needed," Michael Fabiano, was quoted as saying.

The NBC Publishing website, uploaded last month, currently only displays a "coming soon" message, along with the new e-book venture logo. The headquarters will be based in the heart of the publishing industry, New York City, but many of the e-book titles are likely to include a wide variety of video content sourced from the group's vast library of content.

This move on the part of NBC News is just the latest in a new trend by traditional media channels, such as The Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg Businessweek, to quickly take advantage of the growing popularity of the tablets and e-readers with repurposed content.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

BBCL Publications set to debut with Jimmy Engineer’s In Search of My Master

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Big Bang Communications (Pvt) Ltd (BBCL), a leading brand in the advertising and event management industry, is set to enter the arena of publishing with its maiden venture titled ‘In Search of My Master’ which is a book on the artistic work by legendry artist Jimmy Engineer and it has been written by famous author Marjorie Hussain.

The book, published by the newly founded BBCL Publications, is scheduled to be launched in Karachi on January 27. A painting exhibition, featuring canvas prints of 100 of Engineer’s best artworks, would be held along with the book launching ceremony. ‘In Search of My Master’ comprises of over 600 pages along with around 500 prints of Engineers’ artworks.

The Chief Executive Officer of the BBCL, Syed Pervez Iqbal, who is a well-known and respected figure in the corporate sector, hosted a pre-launch media briefing at his tastefully decorated office in DHA in which Engineer and Marjorie Hussain were also present.

Pervez Iqbal informed the media that the book was about the 40 years artistic journey of Engineer, stating that the project of the book was initiated 30 months ago.

The author of the book, Marjorie Hussain said that to her, besides being an artist, Engineer was also a social crusader. She believed that readers of the book would not only enjoy it but also get access to the several aspects of Engineer’s life and his work.

Engineer revealed that people often asked him who influenced his work and who his master was, adding he always told them that Allah Almighty, who is ‘Al-Mosawwir; the greatest artist’ was his master.

He disclosed that he never wanted only to be an artist but also be a servant to his beloved country Pakistan, as per the directive of his spiritual teacher, adding that the famous poetry of Allama Iqbal entitled ‘Jawed Nama’ was the part of the book, and he painted it in response to the request of Jawed Iqbal.

Sikander striving to make New Delhi Fair at par with international fairs

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Director of the National Book Trust (NBT), India, M A Sikander, having taken over this position recently, has vowed to make the upcoming 20th New Delhi World Book Fair 2012 at par the with international fairs besides making it a better and a bigger fair than its earlier editions.

“We wish to raise the bar of what we have been doing for so many years. We are planning everything in advance. We have even made arrangements for the travel desk wherein visitors from other cities and countries can avail discounts at hotels as well as get local transport conveniently at better rates,” Sikander remarked in an interview.

The 20th edition of biennial New Delhi World book Fair is scheduled to be held at the famous Pragati Maidan from February 25 to March 4.

“We are planning a better signage system. To make it easier for the visitors, we are naming the halls according to the books displayed in that particular hall. And all these would be properly marked for easy navigation. Also, there would be an exact record of visitors at the show as there would be a barcode entry for all,” the NBT Director revealed.

“As a bonus, we are trying to have at least one international event where foreign delegates or embassies would be participating. For example, we are planning to have one activity with Iran, with four translated books from NBT. Besides, we are also planning an event on regional languages,” he added.

“Taking forward the trend of offering theme-based international rights exhibition, the fair, this time will have a right exhibition on Indian cinema, celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. For this, we have already received around 250 titles for display. There would be huge publicity, visuals, screening of films, children related activities, etc to supplement it,” Sikander disclosed.

“In fact, the book fair activity is being treated as the daughter’s wedding at NBT. We all are together working to make it the best New Delhi Book Fair so far,” he concluded.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bolloywood to be in spotlight during 20th New Delhi World Book Fair 2012

Jumbo Editorial Team

The focus in the 20th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair 2012, to be held from February 25 to March 4, would be on books on Indian cinema which includes the famous Bollywood.

Bollywood is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema but it’s only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing films in regional languages.

Bollywood, the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world, is an informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

The biennial New Delhi World Book Fair has made a reputation for offering international rights initiatives on a particular theme. It was Mahatma Gandhi in 2008and sports in 2010. Now the year 2012 will witness an international rights exhibition on books on Indian cinema.

Pragati Maidan in New Delhi will be the venue of the 20th edition of the Book Fair, entering the 40th year of its foundation. It will be organized by the National Book Trust (NBT), an autonomous organization founded in 1957 as the national body for book publishing and book promotion.

The 2010 edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair was spread over an area of 42,000 square meters, having attracted more than 1,200 exhibitors from India and abroad. The number of visitors is estimated to have crossed one lac on weekends.

“We are expecting a bigger and better show this time with Hall 1-14 already booked for the show. This time, as a value-added feature, we are also offering bare space to the exhibitors, who wish to install their own theme-stalls. This would obviously save them some cost than the stall space,” Satish Kumar, Joint Director (Production), NBT, was quoted as saying.

“This time, there would an international right exhibition of books on Indian cinema which is poised to complete 100 years in 2013,” Kumar Vikram, Editor, NBT and Project in-charge of the Theme, observed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

IPA announce Book Fair 2012 calendar

Jumbo Editorial Team

The International Publishers Association (IPA), an international industry federation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing for well over a century, has announced the calendar of the book fairs scheduled to be held in 2012.

The IPA, established in 1896, has a mission to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for economic, cultural and political development. It actively fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and freedom to publish besides being an industry association with a human rights mandate.

Following is the IPA Book Fair 2012 calendar:

Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), Taipei, Taiwan-February 1-6

Vilnius International Book Fair/Baltic Book Fair, Vilnius, Lithuania-February 23-26

New Delhi World Book Fair, New Delhi, India-February 25-March 4

Jerusalem International Book Fair, Jerusalem, Israel-February

Dublin Book Festival, Dublin, Ireland-March

Paris Book Fair, Paris, France-March 16-19

Bologna Children's Book Fair, Bologna, Italy-March 19-22

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Abu Dhabi, UAE-March 28-April 2

Bangkok International Book Fair, Bangkok, Thailand-March 29-April 8

London Book Fair, London, UK-April 16-18

Budapest International Book Festival, Budapest, Hungary-April 19-22

Buenos Aires Book Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina-April 19-May 7

Thessaloniki Book Fair, Thessaloniki, Greece-April

Geneva Book Fair, Geneva, Switzerland-April 25-29

Bogota International Book Fair, Bogota, Colombia-April 18-May 1

Warsaw International Book Fair, Warsaw, Poland-May 10-13

Prague International Book Fair, Prague, Czech Republic-May 17-20

BookExpo America, New York City, USA-June 5-7

Seoul International Book Fair, Seoul, South Korea-June 20-24

Tokyo International Book Fair, Tokyo, Japan-July 5-8

Beijing International Book Fair, Beijing, China-August 29-September 2

Moscow International Book Fair, Moscow, Russia-September 5-10

Goteborg Book Fair, Goteborg, Sweden-September 27-30

Colombo International Book Fair, Colombo, Sri Lanka-September

Nairobi International Book Fair, Nairobi, Kenya-October

Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany-October 10-14

Istanbul Book Fair, Istanbul, Turkey-November 17-25

Sharjah International Book Fair, Sharjah, UAE-November

Guadalajara Book Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico-November-December

Dr Yasmin Saikia’s Women, War and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971 launched in Lahore

Jumbo Editorial Team

Women, War and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971, authored by Dr Yasmin Saikia, was launched at Forman Christian College (FCC), Lahore, on January 3.

The book has recorded the sufferings of women during the 1971 war between Pakistan and India. The author revealed having interviewed 250 families, directly affected by the war, over 10 years.

She has sought to explore humanity lost, and humanity reclaimed, by women and men who experienced the war that resulted in the partition of Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Rather than challenging the various versions of the 1971 war, she has tried to present an utterly human story of ordinary people living with war and its aftermath.

“War destroys the vulnerable and unfortunately the individual sufferings of non combatants are seldom highlighted. The book is about families with memories of violence and trauma, missing in the archives of history of the war,” Dr Yasmin Saikia revealed.

“I wanted to focus on the war as traumatised women’s experience and not as a War of Liberation, as widely accepted by the Bangladeshi public,” she explained.

Yasmin Saikia is Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies and Professor of History, Arizona State University. She is the author of numerous articles besides two books now. ‘In the Meadows of Gold and Fragmented Memories: Struggling to be Tai-Ahom in India’ was the title of her first book.

The book launch event was organized by Griswold History Society of Forman Christian College (FCC) in which the welcome address was presented by Dr James Tebbe, Executive Vice-Rector FCC, and Dr Yaqoob Bangash, Professor, Department of History, FCC.

The guest speakers included Professor Imtiaz Bukhari, Chairman, Department of Political Science, FCC, and Professor Tariq Rehman, Dean School of Education, BNU.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jumbo Publishing’s warm welcome to 2012

Jumbo Editorial Team

It’s party time. There are celebrations the world over with 2012 having just arrived. It promises to be a historic leap year on many fronts with the Summer Olympic Games to be staged in London being the showpiece event.

Jumbo Publishing has the plans for expansion during 2012 and many more titles on different subjects are being considered for publication.

A new team is being formed and applications are coming in good number for the past few weeks. With the key posts having been advertised, along with the support team, quite a few new faces are expected to be on board as Jumbo Publishing prepares to meet the challenge.

The last date for the submission of applications is January 31 and the selection process can take around six to eight weeks. Top industry professionals are being sought by the promoters who have a vision for becoming the market leaders.

Sports books have been the forte of Jumbo Publishing in the formative years. A few more are in the pipeline and they should be coming out in the first quarter of 2012.