The seventh edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest ends on a high note

The 7th edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, culminated today with the grand annual Tata Literature Live! Awards ceremony at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), which recognises both India’s distinguished and emerging authors year-on-year. Renowned author Amitav Ghosh was felicitated with the Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was given away by Harish Bhat of Tata Sons and Anil Dharker, Founder and Festival Director. pic-1

Receiving the award, Amitav Ghosh said, “I feel deeply grateful for this award. It means so much to me to receive this in the city of Mumbai.”

Earlier in the festival, Gulzarsaab, the poet and lyricist whose words have moved millions of Indians for over five decades, was felicitated with the Tata Literature Live! Poet Laureate Award for his outstanding contribution to Indian poetry.

The awards also honour new literary voices, and the Tata Hexa Literature Live! First Book Award went to Kanishk Tharoor for Swimmer Among the Stars in the Fiction category and Manu S Pillai for The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore in the Non-Fiction category. Tharoor’s work is a collection of stories that emerges from a long tradition of ancient and modern fabulist, surrealist and magical short stories. Pillai’s book, extensively researched and vividly rendered, paints a dramatic world of political intrigue and sinister machinations, in a tragic contest for power and authority in the age of empire.

The Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year award, constituted to recognise significant work in Indian writing, was bagged by Aravind Adiga for Selection Day in the Fiction category and Siddhartha Mukherjee for The Gene: An Intimate History in the Non-Fiction category. Adiga’s book tells the compelling tale of two cricketing brothers with a driven father divided by success and failure. Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humankind.

The Tata Literature Live! Business Book of the Year, that celebrates business writing in India, was won by Anil K Gupta for Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin Are Not Marginal Minds. In his seminal work, Gupta argues that the answer to the intractable problems of the world need not be found in expensive research labs but instead in innovation by ordinary people.

This year, four new awards were announced. Two were under the Big Little Book Awards for Author and Illustrator in the Literature-for-children category. Instituted in association with Parag, a Tata Trusts initiative, these awards were won by Madhuri Purandare for Best Author for Children’s Literature in Marathi and Atanu Roy for Best Illustrator for Children’s literature across languages. Madhuri Purandare has written and illustrated more than 23 story books including the Yash Series and conceived and edited ‘Vaachu Aanande’ – a thematic anthology of Marathi literature and Indian Art for children. Atanu did his first picture book – Tails for the National Book Trust. He has worked on various styles, from the thick outlines of Who’s Smarter to the crazy black and white drawings for Wingless. pic-4

The third new award was the Tata Literature Live! Publisher of the Year award, won by HarperCollins whose books were the most featured in the book awards given at the festival.

The festival also revived the prestigious Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting in association with the Theatre Group. This year’s award was a tie between Vineet Bhalla for the play A Farming Story and Ramneek Singh for Parvati’s Dark Children.

Anil Dharker said, “It was heartening to see literary enthusiasts show up in huge numbers at this year’s edition of the festival. I believe that it is only the power of the pen, that will restore wisdom and balance in the post truth age. This is why Tata Literature Live! continues to celebrate both established and young writers.”

Harish Bhat of Tata Sons said, “Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest’s global appeal has gone from strength to strength each year and we at the Tata group are proud to be associated with it. Writers are central to the intellectual progression of a country and Tata Literature Live! with its special awards serves to further acknowledge their contribution. We are delighted that the festival and the awards we confer during it showcase and recognise the constant stream of excellent writing coming out of India.”

Meet the jury

The Fiction categories for Tata Hexa Literature Live! First Book and Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year were judged by Indira Chandrashekhar, founder-editor of Out of Print; Paromita Vohra, writer and film-maker; Shefali Balsari Shah, former head, English Department, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai; Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, best-selling author, and Anil Dharker, author, columnist, and founder-director, Literature Live!

The Non-Fiction categories for the aforementioned awards were judged by Akshaya Mukul, senior journalist; Dileep Padgaonkar, political observer and specialist in international affairs; Sidharth Bhatia, founding editor of The Wire; Santosh Desai, author, brand consultant and social commentator, and Anil Dharker.

The esteemed jury for the Tata Literature Live! Business Book of the Year Award comprised Harish Bhat of Tata Sons; Leo Puri, managing director of UTI Asset Management; Mihir S Sharma, senior journalist; Rama Bijapurkar, management and market research consultant, and Ravi Venkatesan, author and philanthropist.

The jury for Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting comprised Amal Allana, Chairperson of National School of Drama along with Farrokh Mehta, and Rajat Kapoor, well-known actors, and directors.

Sai Paranjpye, writer, director, and playwright; Arvind Gupta, Indian toy inventor and populariser of science; Narendra Lanjewar, librarian and journalist; Sunila Pradhan, theatre actor; and Amrita Patwardhan, who heads the education portfolio of Tata Trusts were the jury panel for the Big Little Book Awards.

Mumbai’s biggest and one of India’s best international literary festivals, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2016 witnessed more than 130 authors from 15 countries participate in over 90 sessions across four days, with stimulating conversations and performances. Literature lovers queued up at both venues, the NCPA and the Prithvi Theatre, where the festival was taking place simultaneously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s