10-day spring fest to celebrate spirit of literature with top writers

New Delhi, March 14: The capital will fete the spirit of the moment with a 10-day “Spring Fever” literature festival that will see top writers like Vikram Seth, Ramachandra Guha, Shobhaa De, Gulzar and Mira Nair brainstorm on politics, society, culture and entertainment.

The event – the first open air festival created four years ago – will be held at the amphitheatre of the India Habitat Centre here March 15-24.

Like every year, the centre of attraction will be an open air library that will display Penguin-India’s fiction and non-fiction titles for readers to browse. It is designed to raise awareness about literature and inculcate the culture of reading to counter the influence of television among new segments of the audience like children and the upwardly mobile young.

Hemali Sodhi, Penguin India’s vice president for marketing, said this year’s Spring Fest was “bigger and better, showcasing the best of Indian publishing”.

“The festival will celebrate the power of stories, the joys of readings and the incredible world of words through the open air library, readings, conversations, book launches, previews and music,” Sodhi added.

The focus this year is on food and mass entertainment fiction with chef Vikas Khanna, restaurateur Monish Gujral and writers like Gulzar, Shobbaa De, Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh discussing their work and debating on kebabs, love, story-telling, movies and personal re-connections.

The festival will begin with a “Shobhaa De Unplugged” session at which the writer will speak about her journey as a writer and her influences.

On March 19, writer Ramachandra Guha will present an exclusive preview from his new book, “Gandhi Before India”. Vikram Seth will read from his illustrated volume, “Beastly Tales from Here and There”.

IANS