As 2018 speeds by, bibliophiles will have an opportunity to ring out the old and ring in the new with major literary festivals, awards and, as always, several promising offerings slated to hit the stands in January 2019.
The 10th edition of the Appejay Kolkata Literary Festival, slated for January 18-20, will feature some phenomenal writers and figures of public interest from India and abroad. The shortlist for the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize will also be announced at the festival on January 19.
This will be followed by the Jaipur Literature Festival Festival (JLF), and its publishing forum Jaipur Book Mark (JBM), from January 23 to 28, during which the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize, along with some other awards will be presented to the winners. The annual event, often referred to as "the greatest literary show on earth", will feature some of the best minds from the fields of science, literature, journalism and other similar issues of contemporary relevance.
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be announced at the Tata Steel Literary Festival in Kolkata, which will coincide with JLF.
These festivals will also serve as venues for major book launches, and for conversations on books releasing this January.
The first major title will be a posthumous release of a collection of a veteran journalist's view of India's political and cultural life over four decades. On Leaders and Icons from Jinnah to Modi by Kuldip Nayar, who began his career as an Urdu reporter in the 1950s, who was arrested during the Emergency of 1975-77 and passed away in 2018, will be highly anticipated among his readers.
"In this frank and freewheeling narrative, journalist Kuldip Nayar recounts his experiences of meeting the many men and women who shaped the destiny of pre- and post-Independence India, from Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi. This ringside view of history includes an encounter with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, when Nayar was a law student in Lahore in 1945.
"Even at that young age, he was not afraid to dispute Jinnah's two-nation theory, predicting that it would lead to an unbridgeable schism between India and its neighbour. Later, he met Abdul Qadir Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who initially received Nayar as a fan, but turned against him when he revealed that Pakistan had the bomb. He asked Nelson Mandela how he had survived twenty-one years in jail; Mandela's reply was that the lights in Cape Town always impelled him to think that South Africa would roll back the darkness one day," publisher Speaking Tiger informed IANS about the upcoming book.
We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, the educational campaigner from Pakistan's Swat Valley who came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban, is said to be an incredibly moving follow-up to her internationally bestselling memoir I Am Malala.
In the book, she introduces some of the faces behind the statistics and news stories we read or hear every day about the millions of people displaced worldwide. Publisher Hachette India said that Malala's experiences travelling the world and visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement -- first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world, except to the home she loved.
We Are Displaced not only explores her own story of adjusting to a new life while longing for home, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her various journeys -- girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they've ever known.
The next offering seeks to answer: How did Dawood become the undisputed king of the Mumbai underworld and who was his mentor? Dawood's Mentor: The Man Who Made India's Biggest Don, is a non-fiction account by India's No. 1 crime writer and the author of several bestselling books S. Hussain Zaidi.
In the book, Dawood meets Khalid (Khan Bachcha) and they eventually forge an unlikely friendship. Together they defeat, crush and neutralise every mafia gang in Mumbai. Khalid lays the foundation for the D-Gang as Dawood goes on to establish a crime syndicate like no other and becomes India's most wanted criminal.
Thinking Aloud: Reflections on India by Prasoon Joshi will also release in January. Publisher Rupa asserted that the book will allow its readers to enter into the labyrinths of the adman and lyricist's mind. Joshi's musings, are divided into four sections, each exploring a specific theme, and all of them tied together by a common thread. They stem from ideas he has stumbled upon whilst working on and interacting about various projects, films, forums, literature festival discussions and so forth.
Creativity is considered one of the most valuable skills to possess in today's volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. A compelling narration that combines personal anecdotes with history and neuroscience, Creativity Unleashed by Gopi Krishnaswamy aims to help readers understand that creativity is well within their reach.
Not stopping at that, this book, according to Bloomsbury, offers a powerful method of enhancing creativity through simple step-by-step practices of mindfulness, meditations and methods.
(Saket Suman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)