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.


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