The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize announced at the 14th Edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival

The 14thApeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF)was held at the Park Mansions. The festival venue, the award-winning historic edifice,served as the perfect setting where the much-awaited shortlist of the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2023 was announced.

The hybrid session titled ‘Cover Story’ announced the Oxford Book cover Prize shortlist. The session had a presence of Chair of the jury Alka Pande, an art historian and author and jury members andauthors Shobhaa De and Kunal Basu. ‘Fontwala: From ancient script to digital keyboard’, a presentation by Shubhra Prakash kept the audience captivated. The moderator for the session was Neeta Sreedharan, the Programme Head of the 14th AKLF.

Speaking about AKLF author Shobhaa De said, “I have greatly enjoyed every single edition of the prestigious AKLF , where lively book readings and even livelier debates attract thousands of book lovers. I am looking forward to many memorable sessions!

Neeta Sreedharan, the Programme Head of the 14th AKLF said,“Our Day 2 program at AKLF had something for everyone.  From delving into the past, present, and future of writing for young readers, we discussed the need of the hour, mental health with Aparna Piramal and Vandana Kohli. Shobha De stepped in and enchanted us with her words as she spoke about her new book based on the undying hunger for life. The nail-biting moment shortlist of the  Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2023 was followed by discussions on Dalit Literature, questions about our search for identity and sexuality, cinema, questioning our rights, becoming experimental and a wrap with poetry to keep the soul alight by Arunoday Singh.”

There was an Evening in Four Voices which saw four poets perform their work, each unique in voice and style.  The Moderator of the session was Toopsi Ray.

The session “Past, Present, Future” had presence of authors Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan, Shalini Modi and Nita Bajoria who had discussed writing for young readers, spanning both ancient times and the future, under the presence of the moderator Oindrilla Dutt.

The session “Handspun Hotelier” was basedon Bachi Karkaria’s new title: Capture the Dream -The Many Lives of C.P. Krishnan Nair which traces the life and career of ‘Captain’ C. P. Nair who founded Leela Group and the session was in conversation with Monideepa Banerjie.

At Oxford Bookstore from 11:30am – 12:15pm the session for the Oxford Junior Literary Festival had the presence of authors Anjana Basu and Madhurima Vidyarthi to read from their books. There was also an Interactive session with the junior & middle school.

‘Across Generations’:The Session was a Theatre Workshop with Ramanjit Kaur and The Creative Arts Academy from 12:15pm -01:30pm at Oxford Bookstore.

The Session ‘Peace of Mind’ was about a burning issue of our times, our mental health. Aparna Piramal (Chemical Khichdi) and Vandana Kohli (Hinge) spoke with the moderator counselor and mental health expert Bulbul Bakshi.

It’s My Life: Shobhaa De discusses her new book Insatiable: My Hunger for Life,  with Sandip Roy, a feast of memorable meals and encounters.

The session ‘It’s a Queer Thing’ included Sandip Roy (Don’t Let Him Know), Sumita Beethi (Monologue: Lesbian Narratives from Bengal), Paromita Chakravarti and Angshu Dasgupta (Fern Road Boy). They discussed questions of identity and sexuality in the presence of moderator Jael Silliman.

In session ‘100 Years of Mrinal Sen: A Tribute’ Filmmaker K A Abbas’ Chandi Sonake Buth, unveiled by editorSyeda Hameed, followed by a discussion with actor Dhritiman Chaterjiand filmmaker/actor Suman Mukhopadhyayon the two filmmakers’ cinema of social commitment under the presence of moderator Raju Raman.

In the session ‘The Right to Write’ by Dalit women writers of Bengal, Kalyani Thakur Charal (AndharBil), ManjuBala, Kanan Boral and Lily Haldar discussed their work in the presence of moderator Sayantan Dasgupta.

‘The Voices Within’: The session had poet and Novelist Janice Pariat, Travel writer & Translator Srinath Perur and Poet, Novelist and Musician Jeet Thayil in a discussion about their experiments with different genres under the moderator Vikram Iyengar.

The session ‘Close Encounters’ had well known actor Divya Dutta in conversation with filmmaker Sangeeta Datta about her new book, Stars in my Sky, which explores people and influences from the film world.

In the session ‘Screen, Stage, Page’, popular actor Arunoday Singh shared the various phases of his creative journey in conversation with actor Ramanjit Kaur.

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