Thursday, January 31, 2013

President Ma Ying-jeou vows to support Taiwan's publishing sector

Pakistan News & Features Services

President Ma Ying-jeou, while inaugurating the Taipei International Book Exhibition 2013 at the Taipei World Trade Centre on January 30, vowed to support Taiwan's publishing sector and give local publishers more opportunity to thrive.

”Taiwan may be small, but it is the world's Chinese-language publishing hub, putting out around 40,000-50,000 titles each year,” the President observed, adding that he was visiting the book fair to see what new titles have been published and to encourage local publishers. 

"The government will strongly support the development of the publishing industry. There will be some breakthroughs soon,” he announced. 

Taiwan’s Culture Minister, Lung Ying-tai, expressed the hope that one million people will attend the book fair this year as she advised parents and teachers to bring children to the show.

She also encouraged countries from around the globe to continue to showcase their culture at the fair where tradition and modernity blend well and where tradition has taken root in an open society. 

Caroline Vermeulen, Director of the Belgium Office in Taipei, urged the visitors to tour the Belgian pavilion to learn more about Belgium, which is the theme country this year. 

A delegation of 37 Belgian writers, illustrators, publishers, musicians and artists arrived in Taiwan to attend the fair, which will continue until February 4.

Besides Belgium, the other countries such as France, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Japan and the United States were also participating in the annual event, now in its 21st year. 

Over 700 publishers from more than 70 countries and 500 writers from home and abroad are expected to make the six-day event a memorable one.

It will include a variety of seminars and workshops on topics such as international publishing, digital reading and the development of digital content applications to improve exchanges in the global publishing sector.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Record turnout at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

Pakistan News & Features Services

The sixth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, spread over five days, attracted much bigger audience than the previous years.

According to the reports nearly 200,000 turned up this year at the Diggi Palace, the venue of the event, which was much higher than the attendance of 120,000 last year. 

Noted Pakistani author Mohammad Hanif could not make it to the festival due to personal reasons but the other authors like Jamil Ahmad and M A Farooqui did make an appearance much to the delight of the organizers. 

The Jaipur Literature Festival 2013, battling a 1.5 crore shortfall in the budget, was punctuated with 175 sessions in five days and it was addressed by over 275 speakers from different corners of the globe. 

"We are proud of what we have achieved. This year we had almost 200,000 footfall in the five days. Also, we had amazing sessions with brilliant authors discussing a range of topics which held the audience in rapt attention," William Dalrymple, the festival’s co-director, remarked.

The keynote speaker Mahashweta Devi led the list of literary luminaries including Commonwealth Prize winner Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leone, Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson, two Orange Prize winners Linda Grant and Madeline Miller, Ahdaf Soueif, Tahar Ben Jalloun, Sebastian Faulks, Deborah Moggach, Zoe Heller, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Abraham Verghese. 

The festival played host to subjects as diverse as the history of miniature painting and war reporting, detective fiction and the literature of 9/11. 

It focused on new writing from Latin America and Iran, examined the economic prospects of India and looked at the mixed legacy of the British Empire, the decline of America and the rise of China.

Bollywood and cricket, the two major obsessions in the sub-continent, also played a role in adding value to the festival. 

The arrival of the former Indian captain and a batting great, Rahul Dravid, alongwith the veteran Bollywood actress, Sharmila Tagore, during the launching ceremony of biography of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, drew loud cheers from the bookworms. 

Javed Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi, Shabana Azmi and Jaideep Sahni among others were the notable personalities from the film industry who charmed the audience with their presence.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rahul Dravid, Sharmila Tagore launch Tiger Pataudi’s biography

Pakistan News & Features Services

Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest-ever batsmen, alongwith Sharmila Tagore, an iconic Bollywood actress, launched ‘Pataudi: Nawab of Cricket’, a book on former Indian cricket captain, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, on the third day of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 in Jaipur on January 26. The book has been authored by Suresh Menon.

“I am glad to be here for this unforgettable occasion and deeply indebted to Mr Menon for this book. I read each word of this wonderful book and it made me emotional. I hope readers will like it also,” Sharmila Tagore, wife of the late ‘Tiger’ Pataudi, observed while acknowledging the warm applause from a huge crowd present at the Diggi Palace. 

Rahul Dravid, himself a former Indian captain, also lavished praised the book and the author, stressing for more books on legendary cricketers of the past.

“I am very happy to see a book on legendary cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and this book will surely encourage readers to know more about cricket and cricketers. We are thankful to Mr. Menon and I wish we will see more books on this sport and life of cricketers,” the Rajasthan Royals skipper remarked.

“Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was a great batsman, fielder, captain and above all, he was a great cricketer. Moreover, he was a great team player and knew how to bring all players together to play as a team. Because of his team building, India registered their first Test series win overseas against New Zealand in 1968,” Suresh Menon recalled. 

The book launch was followed by a session presented by Rajasthan Royals, Corner of a Distant Playing Field, in which Rahul Dravid was joined by Ian Buruma, a Dutch writer and academician, and moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai, son of legendary cricketer Dilip Sardesai and Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN.

“The Indian Premier League (IPL) brought many changes in Indian cricket along with tough challenges to adapt quickly to the shorter format of the game, changes in game plan and quick solutions. It changes the environment of the dressing room as we meet players from different countries. It has been changing relationships among cricketers for the last five years and we understand them better,” Rahul Dravid opined. 

“For example, I was never close to Jacques Kallis (South African cricketer). We just met during the series and said a hi-hello to each other. He also talks less and we both never get enough time to talk. Now, due the IPL, we got enough opportunities to talk and shared our views on cricket during our stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore. We are in touch with each other now,” he added.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

McGraw-Hill gear up to meet digital publishing challenge

Pakistan News & Features Services

McGraw-Hill has been one of the leading publishing companies of the world with textbooks being its forte for more than a century. Keeping pace with the times they have made the smart move to become the market leaders in the field of digital publishing as well.

The debut of its SmartBook has shown that McGraw-Hill has recognized how technology is transforming educational publishing, also displaying the eagerness to play a part in the next generation, as is often the case for old world publishers, the technology itself is not entirely its own. 

McGraw-Hill has partnered with Danish adaptive learning company, Area9, to develop SmartBooks, the same company and technology behind LearnSmart. 

McGraw-Hill’s adaptive learning systems now has over 300 titles, 1.5 million students and has delivered over 1 billion questions to students. 

McGraw-Hill has now made the expected move to retain the services of its technology partner by announcing that they will acquire a 20 percent stake in Area9 Apps.

Area9, which was founded in 2006, will also be boosted by the heavy investment which will allow them to reward employees and founders besides bringing with it the security of knowing it will be able to continue to fund its R&D and will always have a customer. 

McGraw-Hill Education is a digital learning company that draws on its more than 100 years of educational expertise to offer solutions that improve learning outcomes around the world. 

The company has emerged as the adaptive education technology leader with the vision for creating a highly personalized learning experience that prepares students of all ages for the world.

They have offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 65 languages. 

McGraw-Hill Education and their President Brian Kibby have been on a mission to help the company transition from the world of print to digital. 

Their presence at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas made a splash. They rocked the audience to emphasize that their excellence in the shiny new technology as well.

Bollywood superstar Rajinikanth’s biography launched

Pakistan News & Features Services

The first-ever comprehensive biography of Rajinikanth, one of the Indian cinema's greatest superstars, was launched in Mumbai recently.

Naman Ramachandran's marvellous biography recounts the illustrious career of the famous actor in meticulous detail tracing his incredible cinematic journey from his very first film Apoorva Raganga in 1975 to memorable forays into Bollywood like Andhaa Ka noon and Hum from box office hits like Billa, Thalapathi and Annamalai to the mega successes of Baasha, Muthu, Padayappa, Chandramukhi, Sivaji and Enthiran. 

The book while revealing how a legend was born also provides rare insights into the Thalaivar's personal life, from his childhood days to his times of struggle when he was still Sivaji Rao Gaekwad and then his eventual stardom. 

"It is tremendously exciting for me to have my launch in the presence of Anurag Kashyap," Ramachandran was quoted as saying. 

"He was a part of my first book Lights, Camera, Masala and his insightful comments on Rajinikanth are an integral part of Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography," the author added.

Although the Bollywood has produced quite a few superstars over the years, Rajinikanth’s is believed to be the most popular in this elite list. He is arguably the biggest superstar cinema-crazy India has ever seen. 

His stylized dialogues and screen mannerisms are legion, and his guy next door-cum-superhero image has found a hysterically appreciative following among millions of moviegoers. 

Rajnikanth has not penned down his memoirs yet but this biography seemed to be the closest to have seen the light of the day. Naman Ramachandran undertook the task of writing the definitive biography of Rajinikanth. 

A film critic with Sight & Sound, a film journalist covering South Asia for Variety and the UK and Ireland for Cineuropa, and the author of the book Light, Camera, Masala: Making Movies in Mumbai, besides a few film scripts, he has managed to put his acts together while doing this special book.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lakshman Hullugalle’s sensational book launched in Colombo

Pakistan News & Features Services

Some sensational disclosures have been made by Lakshman Hullugalle, a former Media Centre for National Security head of Sri Lanka, in his book titled ‘Lakshman’ which was launched recently at the Kingsbury in Colombo. 

Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, was the chief guest of the evening while, Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, was the guest of honour on the occasion. 

The book is being widely considered as a narration of Hullugalle’s side of the story on Channel 9, a vindication against all attacks launched against him in that era. 

The author did not mince words in stating that the state media was used during the Chandrika Kumaratunge regime to attack him baselessly over the so called Channel 9 issue on state television. 

His daughter, Sachini Hullugalle, who delivered the concluding speech and vote of thanks, recalled how they were as a family under siege, as her father Hulugalle was attacked relentlessly in the state media. 

“Lakshman Hulugalle was able to keep the people awakened to what was really happening in the battlefield and he fulfilled his duty wholeheartedly and rendered a noteworthy service to his motherland,” Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, remarked. 

Parliamentarian JRP Suriyapperuma, during his keynote address, invited all the Sri Lankans to read the book as all of history is depicted through biographies. 

“The facts that have come out from biographies have created the history. Biographies are the windows through which we can see the past,” he stressed. 

The other speakers also recalled the influences brought to bear during the Kumaratunge regime on newspapers to attack Hullugalle on the Channel 9 deal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Robinson’s Why Nations Fail launched in Beirut

Pakistan News & Features Services

James Robinson, a Harvard University professor, launched his new book titled ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty’ at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

The book has been co-authored by Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Robinson informed the audience that the failed states were caused by poorly crafted political and economic institutions rather than culture or geography. 

Based on 15 years of extensive research, the book points to extractive economic and political institutions that concentrate power in the hands of a few, are heavily regulated, and lack law and order and checks.

“The Arab Spring was a revolt against these extractive institutions. The theory of the book suggests that this will only lead to a more inclusive society and not the iron law of oligarchy, if a broad coalition forms and sustains itself,” Robinson opined. 

‘Why Nations Fail’ has been described as a brilliant book answering the question that has kept the experts guessing for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? 

James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu have conclusively shown that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success or the lack of it. 

Having carried out original research, the authors marshal extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of the present age.

Daron Acemoglu is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. He had received the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. 

James Robinson, a political scientist and an economist, is the David Florence Professor of Government at the Harvard University. 

A world-renowned expert on Latin America and Africa, he is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Publishing students engage in Kolkata Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The spotlight of the publishing community during the next few weeks will be on the West Bengal capital which will be hosting the 37th International Kolkata Book Fair 2013 from January 26 to February 10. 

The Publishers & Booksellers Guild, which has made history of sorts by having collaborated with the Centre for Studies in Book Publishing (CSBP) of the University of Calcutta in multifarious activities for the benefit of the book publishing industry, will be providing the opportunity to the diploma course students to get involved with the International Kolkata Book Fair. 

To the students of the book publishing diploma course the Kolkata Book Fair has been like an extended class room as the fair provides them with wide exposure to the real world of books. 

The University-Guild collaboration, the only of its kind in the Indian state of West Bengal, is believed to be a unique example of industry-institute partnership. 

Set up in 2007, the CSBP functions under the Faculty Council for Postgraduate Studies in Education, Journalism and Library Science. Apart from offering the one year the Postgraduate Diploma in Book Publishing Studies, the CSBP has been involved with a myriad of activities. 

The Centre focuses on the study of book publishing and allied fields and it has already earned wide acclaim from the book publishing industry and won the appreciation of the academic circle. 

The Postgraduate Diploma Course in Book Publishing Studies, offered by the University of Calcutta at the Centre for Studies in Book Publishing, has attracted attention of the publishing community across the country with the trainees faring well in the industry. 

The National Book Trust (NBT), a highly professional multilingual publishing house, has extended their help and cooperation in running the one-year Postgraduate Diploma Course in Book Publishing Studies. 

The Guild and the CSBP have also been holding short-term training courses of one or two week duration on various aspects of publishing for emerging and intermediate professionals. 

The programmes include editorial techniques, copyrights, rights management, book production and design, warehousing and inventory, book promotion and publicity, book distribution, book design, sales and marketing, electronic publishing and translation techniques.

Kolkata Book Fair 2013 extended by three days

Pakistan News & Features Services

The duration of the 37th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2013 has been extended by three days upon the request of the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, taking into account the interests of small and medium publishers in particular. 

The Kolkata Book Fair 2013 will now begin on January 26 instead of January 29 and will end on February 10. Regarded as the largest and most attended book fair in India, it was reported to have generated business of over Rs 20 crores last year. 

“The Chief Minister suggested that keeping in mind small and medium-scale publishers from the state, the duration of the fair be increased," Tridib Chatterjee, General Secretary, Publishers and Booksellers Guild, revealed. 

Mamata Banerjee will be the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony of the Kolkata Book Fair 2013 on January 26 with Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh, and Partha Chatterjee, a West Bengal minister, to be the guests of honour on the occasion. 

Writers, dramatists and musicians from various countries are expected to take part in the Kolkata Literary Meet to mark the centenary of the legendary poet-writer Rabindranath Tagore winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. 

Famous Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, who passed away in October, will also be remembered at the event. 

The scope of the Kolkata Book Fair has now gone far beyond books and includes a world food market, exhibitions, an employment fair and other displays and entertainment. 

The special attractions in the upcoming Kolkata Book Fair 2013 will be International Complex, Media Corner, Children Pavilion, The Art Village Open Air Auditorium, Newspaper & Media Zone, Special Bus Service, Solar Power Operated Car, Book Fair FM Station and Call Centre facilities.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

SSUET celebrates Jauhar Day by launching book on Ali Brothers

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi  
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Eminent speakers recalled the monumental services of the Jauhar Brothers during the freedom movement at a ceremony organized at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) to launch the book on the legendary Ali Brothers on the Jauhar Day. 

The function was presided over by Engr Adil Usman, Member, SSUET's Board of Governors, and Vice-President, Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA). 

The voluminous book has been authored by Khalid Ali, a senior Aligarhian, now settled in the United States of America (USA). The launching ceremony was held on the Jauhar Day which is observed by the SSUET on January 4 every year. 

The author, a grandson of Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali Jauhar, acquired his education from the Aligarh Muslim University where he was elected as Union’s General Secretary in 1945 before joining the Provincial Muslim League Council. 

He also served as Attache of Pakistan in various countries. After migration to Pakistan he also had a stint with Dawn, the leading Karachi-based daily, besides working for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) for sometime. He had started his professional career as a journalist in India. 

In his address, Khalid Ali described the Ali Brothers as shining stars of the hopes of Muslims of South Asia and their political acumen and talent was also mentioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah and Mahatama Mohandas Gandhi. 

He mentioned that the struggle waged by Ali Brothers for the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia had been a ray of hope and inspiration in the hour of darkness. 

Khalid Ali observed that their greatness was a profound and unparallel example of love for the cause of Muslims and they were of the firm conviction to have an independent country where they had a few yards of land to live peacefully. 

In his speech on the occasion, Prof Shamim Akhtar opined that the book is not only a biography but an authentic piece of the history of sub-continent, adding that it has fully covered the life and achievements of the Ali Brothers, the prevailing conditions and trends. 

Prof Afsar Sultana described the book as the most important and valuable contribution highlighting the personalities of the Ali Brothers and their achievements and discussed the condition of Muslims in India at that time as well as events taking place during independence movement. 

Another eminent speaker, Azad Bin Hyder, remarked that Khalid Ali has done a great favour to the history of sub-continent by writing this book which can be described a masterpiece among the books written so far since 1947. 

Prof Dr Waqar Ahmed Rizvi reckoned that the 16-chapters book thoroughly envelopes the lives and achievements of the Ali Brothers, freedom movement and their struggle. He recalled Jawahirlal Nehru having admitted that he learnt politics from Mohammed Ali Jauhar. 

On the occasion noted poet and Convenor SSUET’s Literary and Cultural Forum, Khumar Farooqui presented poetic homage to the Ali Brothers. The ceremony was also address by two university students Mohammed Umar Khan and Umar Ali Kazmi.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Calendar of International Book Fairs in 2013

Pakistan News & Features Services

There will be plenty of global activity for the book trade practitioners throughout the year as a number of International Book Fairs have been planned in 2013 as well in different continents of the world. 

Pakistan will also be playing host to two mega events of the trade with the Lahore International Book Fair to be organized in the historic city of Lahore in February and the Karachi International Book Fair to be held in the commercial hub of Karachi in December. 

Following is the calendar of International Book Fairs scheduled to take place in 2013:

International Kolkata Book Fair, Kolkata, India (January 26-February 10)
Taipei International Book Exhibition Taipei, Taiwan (January 30-February 4) 
Vilnius International Book Fair/Baltic Book Fair, Vilnius, Lithuania (February) 
New Delhi World Book Fair, New Delhi, India (February 4-10) 
Jerusalem International Book Fair, Jerusalem, Israel (February 10-15) 
Lahore International Book Fair, Lahore, Pakistan (February 14-18) 
Dublin Book Festival, Dublin, Ireland (March) 
Paris Book Fair, Paris, France (March 22-25) 
Bologna Children's Book Fair, Bologna, Italy (March 25-28) 
Bangkok International Book Fair, Bangkok, Thailand (March 28-April 8) 
Thessaloniki Book Fair, Thessaloniki, Greece (April) 
London Book Fair, London, UK (April 15-17)
Buenos Aires Book Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina (April 24-May 13) 
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Abu Dhabi, UAE (April 24-29)
Geneva Book Fair, Geneva, Switzerland (May 1-5)
Bogota International Book Fair, Bogota, Colombia (April-May) 
Prague International Book Fair, Prague, Czech Republic (May 16-19) 
Warsaw International Book Fair, Warsaw, Poland (May) 
Book Expo America, New York City, USA (May 30-June 2)
Cape Town Book Fair, Cape Town, South Africa (June)
Seoul International Book Fair, Seoul, Korea (June 19-23)
Tokyo International Book Fair, Tokyo, Japan (July 4-7)
Rio Book Fair, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 29-September 5)
Beijing International Book Fair, Beijing, China (August-September) 
Moscow International Book Fair, Moscow, Russia (September) 
Nairobi International Book Fair, Nairobi, Kenya (September) 
Colombo International Book Fair, Colombo, Sri Lanka (September) 
Goteborg Book Fair, Goteborg, Sweden (September)
LIBER International Book Fair, Barcelona, Spain (October) 
Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany (October 9-13) 
Istanbul Book Fair, Istanbul, Turkey (November 2-10) 
Sharjah International Book Fair, Sharjah, UAE (November) 
Karachi International Book Fair, Karachi, Pakistan (December 5-9)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Judi Young makes awesome debut with The Girl in the Picture

Pakistan News & Features Services

The widely-travelled and versatile Judi Young, now based in Brisbane, Australia, has produced an inspirational book titled ‘The Girl in the Picture’ and she has been showered with praise for her outstanding effort. 

“The Girl in the Picture is an awesome read. Courageous, inspirational, heartbreaking and heartwarming! A must read for everyone. Warning though – once you start you won’t be able to put it down. It’s that good!” Shelley Stark commented. 

The feedback she has received from the readers has been extraordinary as well as overwhelming. She is being thanked for sharing writing the book and sharing her story. Judi Young’s life story is an inspirational one. 

She was born in New Zealand but lived in England and Spain in her 20′s having worked as a nanny, a dancer and a tour guide. 

She harboured dreams of becoming a world-famous actress until figuring out that acting was not her cup of tea. 

After discovering her natural affinity with people she hosted an interview-style radio show, comprising each week of a 20 minute interview with famous artists like John Waters, Judith Lucy and Sir Peter Ustinov, which she thoroughly enjoyed. 

She was also the host of a similar style television show, with the interviews being of a more serious nature. 

She had begun writing ‘The Girl in the Picture’ initially as a journal for herself but it slowly evolved into something bigger. 

“My book started out as a journal of healing, but became something completely different: a book that demonstrates that we are okay as we are. It isn’t easy to stay positive when one is ill; it isn’t necessary to travel the globe to ‘find yourself’ and more importantly, one book cannot have the answers for all people – a ludicrous concept. That is my main message in the book: that as we are, we are okay. It took me a lifetime and a tumour to figure it out,” Judi Young disclosed. 

“It is the antithesis to Eat Pray Love as what started out as a journal of healing quickly deteriorated into a Loser’s Guide to Healing. I repeatedly fell off my diet plan and imbibed far too much red wine for my own good. I floundered around India and the Philippines, before finally realising that this healthy living stuff is hell! I had to make a tough decision: keep on with the new diet plan, or go against everything I believe in and have surgery,” she mentioned.

 “My book ‘The Girl in the Picture’ is a transformation story with a twist. When I visited a life coach five years ago I struggled to recognise myself as the same person who was in a photograph that I was showing him. I decided to find out who I really was, but was thrown a curveball when I was diagnosed with cancer,” she added. 

“As part of my healing I decided to reconnect with my family, including my 82 year-old uncle who is himself well-known in NZ, being the subject of books and documentaries. I also travelled to India and the Philippines, blundering my way through yoga classes and enemas before realising where my answer truly was,” she recalled.