Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kala Ghoda Kids Lit Fest

Art Festival
If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six.

Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.

This year the Kala Ghoda Kids Lit Fest brings together the best in Indian children’s writing for the very first time in Mumbai. You can watch a play full of magic and mayhem, get to know a singing monster, hop on to a hilarious intergalactic adventure, meet a superdog out to save the day and travel to ancient Egypt and back for a trip around the world! Learn to write, learn to draw, learn to tell a story or two.

So hop, skip and jump all the way to the Kids Lit Fest at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

You’re in for a fun ride.

February 2 – 10, 2013
At Kitab Khana, David Sasson Library and Museum Grounds

For full schedule, registrations and information, email You can view the entire schedule for the festival on the official website.

Some of the events that we will be conducting are:

Become a part of the story Kaka and Munni and stick your way into it with Natasha Sharma

Date : Thursday, February 7, 2013
Time : 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Event :  Be a character in the story as author, illustrator and master storyteller Natasha Sharma reads from her book. Then arm yourselves with paper and glue to create your very own collage.
Age group : 4-7 years
Venue : Kitab Khana


Kahani Sunoh by Lovleen Misra (Hindi)
Date : Saturday, February 9, 2013
Time : 12 - 1 pm
Event : Theatre personality Lovleen Misra will perform a dramatized story reading Saalaana Baal Katai Divas (Annual haircut Day) and Raja Nang Dhadanga (retelling of Emperor's new Clothes in Hindi).
Venue : Kitab Khana

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Himalaya: Mountains of Life ready for launch!

The magnificent Himalayas have been much more than just snow capped mountains. Everything about and around Himalayas is extraordinary, be it the snow peaked mountains, the meadows or the life there. Bestowed with a rich wealth of culture, flora and fauna, this ancient mountain kingdom is like no other place on earth.

Himalaya: Mountains of Life is a sneak peak into the Himalayan life. The vibrant colours and the fragile yet spectacular mountains hold the answers to a lot of mysteries. From unknown flora and fauna species to magical cures to heal humanity and mankind, these mountains have a lot to say. The book demonstrates through astounding imagery and words, why the preservation of this legacy is so important—not just for us, but for the future of all life on Earth.

Authors Kamal Bawa and Sandesh Kadur take us on a wonderful journey of biocultural discovery. Kamal Bawa is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and President of the Bangalore based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. Sandesh Kadur is an award winning wildlife photographer and film-maker with a passion for conservation and education. He is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and Director of Felis Creations.

The book launch is scheduled in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

Book Launch Bangalore 
Date : Jan 30th 2013 4:30 PM
Venue :
National Gallery of Modern Art,
Manekyavelu Mansion
49, Palace Road,
Bengaluru – 560 052

Book Launch Mumbai
Date : Jan 31st 2013 6:00 PM
Venue :
Bombay Natural History Society,
Hornbill House, Opp.Lion Gate,
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road,
Mumbai – 400 001

Book Launch Delhi
Date : Feb 19th 2013 4:30 PM
Venue :
India International Center,
#40, Max Mueller Marg,
Lodhi Estate, New Delhi – 110003

Read more here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kolkata gears up for the International Book Fair and Literary meet

Image source:

January has been a month of Literature fests and Book fairs. And now its Kolkata’s turn as they host the 37th International Kolkata Book Fair along with the literary meet aptly named KaLaM (KLM). The Kolkata Book Fair was inaugurated on the 26th January 2013 by the eminent Bangladeshi academician Anisuzzaman along with the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister of Bangladesh, Abul Mal Abdul Muhith.
The theme of the Kolkata Book Fair this year is Bangladesh and the event aims at celebrating the 19th century Bengal renaissance. The book fair was thrown open on 26th January 2013 and will continue until the 10th February 2013.  

Image source:
The Kolkata Literary Meet happening along with the Kolkata Book Fair is a double delight for bibliophiles. With prominent authors and poets gracing the event, KaLaM as its “daaknaam” goes is a perfect place for every book lover to hang out.

The event also has a lecture, an award which has been initiated in memory of Gangopadhayay who has been an integral part of the fair since its inception. Gangopadhyay's works will be discussed at length at the Kolkata Literary Meet. The KLM will witness participation of a host of luminaries from various fields discussing varied subjects. The fair has altogether 572 stalls which means lots and lots of books.

So in this Maha Kumbh of books don’t forget to visit our stall.

Venue - Milan Mela Kendra ( Opp - Science City)
Dates - 26th Jan to 10th of Feb 2013
Hall No - 6, Stall No - 6 (Near to Main Gate entrance/2nd Gate Entrance)
Timings - 12.00 noon to 8.00 pm (Weekdays), 12.00 noon to 8.00 pm (Weekends / Holidays)

For more details regarding the Kolkata Book Fair click here.
To know more about the Kolkata Literary Meet click here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Wild Republic Day to all!

Happy Republic Day, dear fellow-Indians!

Award winning wildlife photographer Sandesh Kadur and his team at Felis Films have made this beautiful,wild video - it's so beautiful, you may want to stand up for it.

Please click here for the video. Anyone who identifies ALL the faunal inhabitants present in this video wins a free Himalaya book by Sandesh Kadur and Kamal Bawa, valued at Rs. 3500 (promotional offer right now at Rs. 2975), The three best attempts will receive a free Himalaya 2013 Desktop Calendar! Contest open to inhabitants of the UK, USA and of course - INDIA. All species must be named in the comments field on Youtube.

Look out for a clouded leopard cub in the video. Pratham Books is delighted to be working on a book about that elusive cat with Sandesh.

Sandesh and Team Felis Films, do take a salute from us for this Republic Day video.Thank you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The What on Earth? Wallbook launch at the Jaipur Lit Fest

 The Jaipur Lit Fest began with much fanfare yesterday. While the literati talked about books, literature and writing, it was the unique Wallbook which added a special touch to this festival. Written by Christopher Lloyd and illustrated by Andy Forshaw, this wallbook  features 13.7 billion years on a timeline.

The What on Earth? Wallbook- Indian Editions were launched by the Governor of Rajasthan, Her Excellency Margaret Alva at the inaugural event of the 13th DSC Jaipur Literary Festival. Our Managing Trustee Suzanne Singh and Himanshu Giri, COO, Pratham Books were also present at the event. This specially customised edition of the wallbook includes a bigger representation of Indian history and has been produced in partnership with India’s multilingual children’s publisher, Pratham Books.

Christopher’s session in the Young Adult workshop on 25th January 2013 at 2.15pm at JLF is going to be a treat for young and old alike. Unlike other books the Wallbook is different as it allows the reader to look at the world as one big place. In short, it’s like travelling through time along with guide-in pictures and words where you can start reading from just about anywhere… left, right, centre without getting lost because of the timeline beneath.

So be there at Samvad at JLF to know more about The What on Earth? Wallbook. 

To get you own copy of The What on Earth? Wallbook  click here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Q&A with Christopher Lloyd

Manisha Chaudhry, head of content development at Pratham Books, chats with author Christopher Lloyd about the latest Indian version of the 'What on Earth? Wallbook'.

1) Tell us about the genesis of the Wallbook? Was there an inspirational trigger when you decided to write a history of everything?

Ten years ago, when my eldest daughter Matilda was 7 years old, she got bored at school. As a parent there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a precocious, curious young mind stifled by boredom! Matilda, who was a prolific reader, had stopped reading – and she started dreading going to school. She was bored. Her teacher was only interested in test scores (and our daughter’s were fine). She was in denial that there was a problem – so we felt we had no choice but to search for a new school.
To our amazement no school we visited ever said it was their mission to avoid children getting bored! Fearing the same thing would happen at a different school, we decided to home educate Matilda (and her sister Verity, then aged 5) for a year. This was the start of a five-year experiment that changed all our lives!

It was when we started home educating (in 2003) that the scales lifted from my eyes! We tried to create a curriculum at home, but discovered we were just recreating the problems of learning at school! I began to realize that by chopping subjects up into fragments - as done in schools - we were destroying the natural process of learning through curiosity. So after three months, we abandoned the curriculum and wrapped everyday skills in maths, literacy, music, art and drama around whatever it was the girls wanted to study – whatever it was they were curious to find out about – Indian temples, African animals, penguins in the Antarctic or the sinking of the Titanic!

We were astonished to find how much knowledge you can connect in with the Titanic – buoyancy, changing states of matter (ice/ water), arithmetic (life boats Vs people on board), navigation and compasses, weather patterns, ice floes, original sources (looking at newspapers of the event) etc etc etc.

It was a Eureka moment! I began to search for a book that would connect all the subjects together from the beginning of time to the present day. To my complete amazement and despite lengthy searches such a book did not seem to exist! Either histories of the world were written by scientists and were all about natural history but stopped when it came to people OR they were written by historians and began 6,500 years in Mesopotamia as if nothing else happened before!

So I decided to write that book – it is called What on Earth Happened?. It begins with the start of the Universe 13.7 billion years and goes all the way to the present day - a narrative that balances the stories of nature and humanity. Even though two-thirds of the book is about human history the thread running through it is how we as people are shaped by the natural world around us, unlike most histories which see things only as human achievement usually in isolation. So rice shapes India, olives shape ancient Greek society, maize shapes the native Americans, smallpox shapes American history.

The book (Bloomsbury 2008) is now in 15 languages. Most recently it has been translated into Japanese More than 90,000 copies have been sold in just 6 months and I was recently invited there to see for myself the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

However since writing What on Earth Happened? I wanted to find a more accessible way for people – young and old – to engage with the incredible interconnected history of the world. Many people will not have the time or inclination to read a180,000 word book – despite its many pictures and maps – and regardless of easy it is to read. Also how many people either find reading difficult or dread the feeling of starting on page one and having to wade through all the text to the end?

So I started to research into how big stories were told before people could read and write. I learned bout the use of everyday objects to tell stories in ancient Greece – about the Bayeux Tapestry of William the Conqueror and I looked at stained glass in the cathedrals of Europe telling religious stories. The upshot of my research was that people naturally learn through images on timelines. Would it be possible, I wondered, to turn my giant history of the world – What on Earth Happened? into a timeline with a thousand pictures and captions. If so, how could I design such a thing and organise all that information?

And what format should the book be? The great advantage of removing the spine is that you have so much more space on which to spread out the story. The timeline can stretch all along, so people never get lost. Also the book can be read conventionally in a chair but also unfolded out on the floor, or laid out across a long table or hung on a wall – perfect for a giant illustrated story! And because it is laid out on a timeline people can start and end their journeys where they wish. They can read left to right, right to left, bottom to top or top to bottom! The Wallbook, as I have called it, is perfect for unlocking someone’s natural curiosity about the world from its beginning to today. Making such a big story accessible is like revealing the beauty of forest instead of being distracted by each individual tree…

2) How long did it take you to research and select? Did you do it alone or was it collaborative?

The book What on Earth Happened? took me about two years to research and write from start to finish. It then took me about 9 months to convert it into the What on Earth? Wallbook. Whilst a lot of the research for the book was done alone, the Wallbook was a complete collaboration with my fabulous friend and illustrator Andy Forshaw and also my book designer William Webb. Together the three of us pioneered the format and the layout of the Wallbook inch by inch. It was enormous fun and so exciting to see all the pieces fit together.

3) Were there any special moments in the journey?

It was total exhilaration all the way! Seeing the illustrations turn from black and white pen drawings into glorious eye-popping technicolour was wonderful. Pouring over the proofs together scrutinizing every detail was amazing. Seeing the pages roll off the presses when the book was finally printed was incredibly exciting.

4) How was it received? By your daughters? By children, teachers, parents? Any funny memories or comments?

Well every time I show it to people they seem to be amazed and I guess that’s what makes presenting the book so much fun, whether it’s doing talks at festivals, workshops in schools or selling books at a market stall! My daughters have grown up with me telling my stories, giving lectures and producing books so there is no great surprise to them when a new book comes out! My favourite audience for my talks is a wide age range of children, teachers, parents and grandparents. I find that these big global stories appeal to all ages and it is wonderful to see children and parents enjoying a big picture approach together.

5) Share your experiences of taking the Wallbook across to different audiences. Was there any  difference  in the way children received the Wallbook based on their background and culture? Which is the most favourite  stream of the children?

It is amazing to see how the books stimulate the curiosity of children. Each time I give a talk I always say to the audience that if they ever suffer from boredom I have a cure – it is this: start asking questions! You cannot be bored and inquisitive at the same time. It’s like car cannot be driven forwards and backwards at once – so curiosity the ultimate cure for boredom!

I remember at one school workshop I was talking about the American astronaut Alan Shepherd hitting a golf ball on the moon. We talked about how much further the ball would travel than on the Earth – 6 times – and I asked the children if they could guess how much smaller is the moon than the earth – answer 6 times - which explains why the astronaut can hit his golf ball six times further as there is 6 time less gravity on the moon. And then, to my complete surprise, one girl from the back of the room, her name was Naomi, asked this question “What happened to the ball? Did he pick it up or is it still there?”

I was stumped! – I had no idea! But it was fabulous a eureka moment to witness this girl, aged about 8, having the curiosity to ask a brilliant question to which no one had the answer – so I challenged her to find out and I have since discovered that he did not go and pick it up – the golf ball is still there, somewhere on the surface of the moon – just another thing to wonder at when you see the moon shining bright on a clear night.

6) Did the Indian Wallbook pose any specific challenges?

Yes – we increased the font size to make it easier to read – and we reduced the paper size to make it more manageable to print. Finally we increased the representation of Indian history to make sure all the most important moments were represented. This means we had to remove many of the original pictures and captions and although the look and feel of the Indian Wallbook is similar to the original English edition it is actually a brand new product. Like its English cousin, it works wonderfully for all ages and can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone – whatever their level of literacy – because the pictures are big and bold and the words large and easy to read.

7) How would you like the Indian Wallbook to be used?

From the bottom of my heart I hope adults and young people will enjoy this book TOGETHER. It is wonderful to have the partnership with Pratham Books, a charity with the aim of putting a book into every Indian child’s hands. That is the spirit of big picture learning – of taking a holistic look at the past and connecting nature with humanity, young with old, rich with poor, east with west, Asian with European. This is an inclusive book, not at all an exclusive book. It is affordable, accessible and within reach of most people’s budget. If people get just a tiny bit as much pleasure immersing themselves in this book as I had putting it together, then I shall be thrilled. 

8) What is the next project for children?

Ahh – that’s so exciting! It’s the What on Earth? Wallbook of Science & Engineering with more than 1,000 inventions and discoveries from the Stone Ages to the present day which we are producing in collaboration with the Science Museum in London. We are about three-quarters of the way through production and it is published in July this year. I can’t wait to show it to you! After that we are doing the works of Shakespeare – the top 100 moments in his 37 plays! There is so much big picture storytelling to be done. Always connect – and never stop asking questions!

You can buy Christopher's latest book from our website at Rs.125.

Read more interviews with Pratham Books authors and illustrators.

Image Source :

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pratham Books adds a special touch to the JLF with The What on Earth? Wallbook

Pratham Books makes The Jaipur Literature Festival, a popular and star-studded literature festival even more special as we bring to the Indian audiences The What On Earth? Wallbook, the Indian version of the internationally acclaimed best-seller. The book will be released by Her Excellency, Smt. Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan. Children will also get to meet and interact with the author Christopher Llyod as he takes young adults through 13.7 billion years of history!

Book Release: Author Reading:
Date: 24.1.2013 Date: 25.1.2013
Time: 11.00 am Time: 2.15 pm
Venue: Diggi Palace, Jaipur Venue: Samvaad, Diggi Palace, Jaipur

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Uplifting news from CBSE!

We're delighted to see many of our books in the CBSE list of recommended books for children. Thanks to all the authors, illustrators, translators and others who have made it possible for us to publish these books!

For the past few years, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been sending out circulars to schools highlighting the need for promoting the reading habit among children. “With the introduction of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation right from the primary classes, the importance of fostering interest for reading books among children of all ages has increased. It is essential that schools impress upon the children that reading good books apart from the prescribed text books not only widens their horizon but also uplifts their spirit by instilling in them higher values,” says a letter from CBSE.

The CBSE list covers a wide range of subjects, and books have been selected to help children in their holistic development. Of the 291 books on the CBSE list, 68 are from Pratham Books, the largest from a single publisher.We're happy to see books from publishers like Eklavya, A & A Book Trust, Tulika, Centre For Learning Resources,and others. Now we hope more and more children across the country will be reading books for enrichment and enjoyment.

Congratulations to all our friends, authors, illustrators, translators, reviewers and designers for being with us on our mission to 'see a book in every child's hand'. Check out the full list of selected books here. And check out the books at our store here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Twitter Chat with author Christopher Lloyd : On the Indian Wallbook and More ...

The What on Earth? Wallbook is finally here!

We are highly pleased to inform you that Christopher Lloyd, author of the book, is currently in India and travelling with our team to schools and showing kids this new version of his book! Read more about the book here.

Join us for a Twitter chat with Christopher as he tells us more about this book.
Date : 23rd January, 2013
Time : 3.30 pm - 4:30 pm

Christopher will be tweeting from the @wallbook handle while we will be using the @prathambooks handle. Send in your tweets and questions with the hashtag #Wallbook.

Here's a short clip of what the Wallbook looks like :

(P.S - this video is not of the Indian version of the What on Earth? Wallbook. The Indian version of the is a slightly varied version of this book).

Pratham Books brings this excitement to Indian children, as always at an affordable price of Rs 125/-only. Eight full colour panels with a variety of illustrations and text carry information in different streams on all aspects of our planet while an engaging back narrative connects the dots to give a composite picture of What on Earth has been happening in our Universe. What better way to introduce children to the most fantastic story of all-the story of our planet and its people?

The What on Earth? Wallbook Comes to India

What on Earth?
Connecting together the dots of the past…

The What On Earth? Wallbook is a way of presenting a big picture to people – young and old alike – so their minds can roam freely and stand back in awe at the most extraordinary story of all – far more incredible than any fantasy or fiction – the story of the Universe and our home, the planet Earth, over 13.7 billion years!

Imagine a book that will be your guide - in pictures and words - where you don’t have to start at the beginning and read to the end following the suggested path of an unknown author! No, you can start in the middle or wherever your interests lie and read left, right, up or down – without ever getting lost because of the timeline beneath! This is more what nature intended, because you may go wherever your curiosity leads!

And how about unfolding the book? No need to put it on a shelf like other books - you can hang it on a wall or spread it out on a table or a floor so several people can explore it and learn together, spotting things as they go, commenting, discussing, talking, debating… Instead of learning about our planet under different subjects like history, geography science and social studies, here is a book that allows the reader to look at this amazing world as one, huge, fantastic place - you can read about when the one-celled organism was born, when wars were fought, where scientific discoveries were made, what was happening in different parts of the world at a given time and which leader changed the world, in different periods in the life of our world.

Pratham Books presents the Wallbook to Indian children through a series of exciting events. Christopher Lloyd will be in Delhi and Jaipur from Jan 21-26 th and the Indian Wallbook will be first released at St Mary’s School in Safdarjang Enclave in New Delhi on 21 st Jan, 2013. The children of Springdales, Maxfort School Delhi also will enjoy an amazing interactive hour with Chris on 22nd January, 2013. 

Jaipur is not far behind where Chris will regale the children with his time travelogue on Jan 24-25th, 2013 at MGD Girls School & Neerja Modi School. His session in the Young Adult workshop on 25th Jan at 2.15 pm at the Jaipur Literature festival promises to be a moveable feast for young and old alike.

(P.S - this video is not of the Indian wallbook. The Indian version of the What on Earth? Wallbook refers to Indian facts too).

Christopher Lloyd, author of the Wallbook, is the founder of What on Earth Publishing Ltd. He has a double first class degree in History from Cambridge University. He and his wife Virginia home educated their two daughters stimulating him to write books on Big History, trying to connect subjects together through narrative and visualization. Christopher is an author and journalist, and lectures all over the world. 

Andy Forshaw, illustrator of the Wallbook, graduated from London's Central St. Martins with a degree in Graphic Design. He has illustrated internationally for clients including Bloomsbury Publishing, The Natural History Museum, Time Out New York & The Guardian. He has helped to define the illustrated style of all the 'What On Earth' books. 

Pratham Books brings this excitement to Indian children, as always at an affordable price of Rs 125/-only. Eight full colour panels with a variety of illustrations and text carry information in different streams on all aspects of our planet while an engaging back narrative connects the dots to give a composite picture of What on Earth has been happening in our Universe. What better way to introduce children to the most fantastic story of all-the story of our planet and its people?

Outreach in the City at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur Literature Festival, JLF is one of the largest literary festivals in the Asia-Pacific and the most prestigious celebration of national and international literature to be held in India. It encompasses a range of readings, talks, debates, performances, children’s workshops and interactive activities held in the beautiful heritage city of Jaipur. 

Outreach in the City aims at widening the scope of the festival by taking some of the celebrated authors and illustrators to institutions across Jaipur and thereby enabling children to partake of the joy of books and reading. This is the second year of the Outreach programme. This year too we have an exciting line up of personalities from India and abroad and will have 25 reading sessions, workshops and interactive sessions in 25 educational institutions in and around Jaipur between 21st to 26th of January 2013. 

 The eminent personalities for this year’s Outreach include Christopher Lloyd, Reema Hooja, Damayanti Beshra, Anupa Lal, M A Farooqi, Madhuri Behari, Zac O’Yeah, Neelesh Mishra, Ashok Chakradhar, Anita Mani and Devyani Bhardwaj. 

“Outreach in the City” is under DSC Jaipur Literature Festival and brought to you by Pratham Books and Teamwork Productions. Rajasthan Patrika have part-sponsored this year’s Outreach in the City programme.

We will also be participating in the main Jaipur Literature Festival. More details to follow soon.

Art Detectives at Art Fair

Via an email sent by FICA

Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) along with Flow India present 'Art Detectives at Art Fair'

Let your kids have fun exploring the India Art Fair 2013 with a special guided programme while you browse the Fair at your leisure. The 1 hour 30 min programme is designed to give your kids a glimpse into the myriad wonders of contemporary art in India. We will take a look at key works by major artists as well as uncover exciting up-and-coming artists.

At 'Art Detectives at Art Fair' your child will learn the difference between a Subodh Gupta and a Shilpa Gupta, an Atul Dodiya and a Mithu Sen. We'll discover what makes artists tick, and the huge range of materials and techniques that they have at their command. We'll look at the big and the small, the colour-drenched and the monochromatic and learn how to develop our own responses to art while enjoying the atmosphere of the India Art Fair 2013.

When: 11:30 am - 1 pm on Saturday, 2 February 2013 
11:30 am - 1 pm on Sunday, 3 February 2013 (repeat session)
Where: India Art Fair 2013, NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla
Fees: Rs 1200 per person
Age group: 10 - 14 years

Note: Pre-registration required. Maximum of 15 children per workshop. Please write to us or call +91 11 46103550 to reserve a seat.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Call for Papers : Rethinking the Novel

Via Aswathy Senan's post on Facebook


How has the novel managed, over all these years, to redeem the promise of renewal that is encoded in its very name ? Has the novel’s inexhaustibility to do with the capacity, first identified by Mikhail Bakhtin , to draw into its repertoire, expressive resources from forms as diverse as a government document and the contemporary video game? Or is it that the novel is in consonance with modern habits of thought, specifically, as Catherine Gallagher has suggested, with the movement away from faith to the conditional investment of belief? Are these qualities of the novel responsible for its becoming the basis of some key conceptual categories in the social sciences such as Jurgen Habermas’s “public sphere” or Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”? Beyond this, is it possible to think of the novel as a valuable resource in the growing interdisciplinary research on visual culture or the body and its histories?

The novel has also been, in a fundamental sense, a travelling text. It has moved freely not only between social spheres within a single geographical terrain but also across national and indeed continental barriers. To what extent has it intersected with popular sub-literary and even oral forms? Of special interest to us in India, are the specific histories of interactions that have driven the varying developments of the novel in our different regions. We believe that the proliferation of the novel across languages and literary cultures can no longer be explained in terms of “influence”, “mimicry”, or “indigeneity”. Rather, we hope that papers will situate the form within mobile norms of literary tradition, emerging print cultures, various forms of public articulation, codes of visuality, political positions and so on. We hope, indeed, that this conference will provide the platform for new, even if tentative, formulations on the novel in India.

This conference invites papers that help to reconceptualize what novels can or cannot do, or that track a specific history of interactions between a novel and the discursive universe that produced it. The conference has a strong interest in the novel in India, but it will by no means be confined to work on the Indian novel. Rather, it treats novel studies as a house with many windows which opens onto many parts of the world. It is our belief that the conference will be the richer if conversations on these topics can draw on a diversity of locations and histories.

Possible topics may include, but are not restricted to:
Novel theories now
The novel and visuality
The novel and the body
The significance of the novel in disciplines outside of literary criticism
Novel criticism in India
Realism in the virtual age
Europe and the development of the novel in India
The novel and orality
The novel and popular print culture

Please send your abstract (300 words) and a brief bionote (150words) to the following email or postal address by 31 January 2013:
Professor Sambudha Sen, Department of English, Delhi University, Delhi – 110007, India

The conference will be held between 4th-6th March, 2013.

For more information, questions, etc, head over to this Facebook page.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Events Calendar


The 36th Chennai Book Fair is on till the 23rd of January, 2013. Find our books at the Eureka Books stall (Stall no: 351).
Venue :YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandnam, Chennai

Timing : Weekdays: 2.30pm to 8.30pm, Holidays: 11.00pm to 9.00pm

Visit the website to find out more about the book fair.

Via  truthdive
This year Chennai Book Fair would have 747 stalls in 180,000 sq ft area, with 450 participants with more than 10 lakh titles and one crore books. The 450 participants include 250 Tamil publishers, 127 English publishers and 37 media organizations. The exhibition is a 13-day event from January 11 to January 23 at the YMCA Ground in Nandanam. 
Shanmugam, president of Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) said tickets will be priced at Rs 5 and entry for schoolchildren at junior levels will be free. BAPASI has announced a discount of 10% on all books. To promote reading among children and young adults, it has also distributed more than five lakh free tickets to school and college students, Shanmugam said. 
Apart from selling books, the fair has a wide range of events, ranging from a drawing competition to cultural events adding fun to the fair. Bapasi has planned for debates and discussions on all days at 6 pm, for which the organisation has invited eminent speakers and leaders to address visitors.
Read the entire article here.


2. BOOK READING, Bangalore

NGMA Bengaluru is hosting a reading of the book, "We the Children of India" by Leila Seth at 11 am, followed by a fun walk through the galleries and a set of exciting challenges!
Who: For kids between 10-12 years old and their adult companions.
When: 19th January 2013 at 11 am to 2.00 pm with a half an hour break at 12.15 pm.
Where : National Gallery of Modern Art, Manikyavelu Mansion, 49 Palace Road, Bangalore. Phone : 080 22342338

Entry by registrations through e-mail only -



Via the Jaipur Literature Festival website

DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is the largest literary festival in Asia-Pacific, and the most prestigious celebration of national and international literature to be held in India. It encompasses a range of readings, talks, debates, performances, children’s workshops and interactive activities held in the beautiful heritage property, Diggi Palace in the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur. Entering its sixth year, JLF is now regarded as the Kumbh Mela of Indian and international writing, drawing in writers and readers from across India and the wider world: from America, Europe, Africa and from across the breadth of South Asia, the brightest, most brilliant, funny, moving and remarkable authors come to Jaipur every January.

Dates : 24th - 28th January, 2013
Venue : Diggi Palace, Jaipur

Find more details about the festival here.



Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) is an annual event that celebrates creativity in all its forms. The Festival, started in 2010, draws over a hundred writers, artistes, scholars, publishers from India and abroad each year. HLF is a multi-lingual event with a strong focus on writing in the Indian languages.

Inviting a foreign country to showcase its literature and culture is a new feature added to the Festival in 2012. Germany was the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2012 and at HLF 2013 it will be France. Another new feature that is being introduced at HLF 2013 is a special focus on the literature and culture of one Indian language at each edition of the Festival. Telugu will be the language in focus at HLF 2013.

HLF 2013 will be held from 18-20 Jan on the campus of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Gachibowli, Hyderabad.  

Visit the website for more details.


The twistntales bookstore in Pune is shutting down :(. You can read their goodbye post here. The store will be around for another month or so but they are having a stock clearance sale at the moment. 

Call for Submissions : The Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014

Have you written a children’s story that is INSPIRED BY ASIA?
The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA) is the joint initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic. SABA recognises children's writers of Asian origin and their efforts to celebrate Asian life and experiences, and share them with the world. The award also aims to promote the understanding of the Asian experience and its expression in innovative and creative forms.

The objectives of the SABA are as follows:
• To recognise excellence in fiction in Asian stories for children
• To showcase the diversity of literary talent within Asia
• To encourage and inspire more Asian-themed books and stories

The closing date for the 2014 SABA is 21st October 2013, 5pm (Singapore time). The organisers shall not be responsible for any manuscripts lost or damaged in transit. The results will be declared in May 2014, at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

The Award-Winning Manuscript
The best manuscript will be awarded the Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA), and win a prize of 
S$10,000 and a plaque. The winning manuscript will be considered by Scholastic Asia for publication.

The First & Second Runners-Up
The first and second runners-up will be awarded plaques and offered advice by Scholastic Asia on editing their manuscripts to submit for publication.

Click here for more details.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Pratham Books 2013 calendar is here!

Every time you open a book, you set foot into a brand new world. Words beckon you. Pictures invite you to stay and visit for a while. Characters speak to you, and to each other. And suddenly, without being quite aware of it, you are a part of the world of the book.

Some books take us to places we’ve never seen. Others, to different times. But each one takes us away from our immediate surroundings, and plunges us into a new world.

This calendar, therefore, works much like the books we make at Pratham Books. With the turn of every page, a new world opens up – to invite, enrich, and delight the adventurer in each one of us.

Discover Tawang, Kutch, Sunderbans, Ladakh, Andamans, Gopalpur, Wayanand, Kolhapur, Meghalaya, Bastar, Hampi, Jaisalmer.

Join us in this year-long journey across India, stopping to learn a little, taste a bit, and sample a few new and unique experiences.

For a sneak preview : click here

This calendar also features stories spun by children during the Pratham Books “My Year of Discovery” campaign. Some of these stories were created at a story-writing workshop conducted at Mantri Square, Bangalore, while others were entered online from various places across India. Winners are Tanay A. Patani, Ashwath Krishna, Nidhi Rambia, B Arun, Anagha Rao, Kimberly Roy, R Pranesh, Janini Balaji, Shreya Gupta, Shaswat Nair, Neha R, Soundarya R.

This gorgeous calendar was created by Sangeeta Velegar (concept), Soumya Menon (illustrations) and Tony Jose(design).

What’s more, all proceeds from the calendar sale will be used to buy books for Pratham Books Champions’ (read more about them here), who in turn will spread the joy of reading to children in their communities. Your gesture will thus bring us closer towards our mission of putting “a book in every child’s hand”!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Courses in Editing and Book Design

The Seagull School of Publishing, Calcutta, offers a professional course—in Editing and in Book Design—run entirely by practicing publishers, editors and designers who are passionate about the craft of publishing. Hands-on training. Loads of assignments. Conversations with professionals from publishing houses in India and abroad. Field trips to printing presses. Research trips to bookstores. Open-house discussions on current issues. Classes ranging from copyright infringement to e-books to the joys of reprinting War and Peace. Internships. Fellowships for aspiring publishers. And a computer lab featuring the best of equipment and software.

A career in books is often seen as the preserve of the traditional elite. Globally, over the last 20 years, publishers and other lobby groups have sought to address the lack of social and ethnic diversity in publishing. The UK-based forum for Equality in Publishing, Equip, is one such initiative. It was earlier called DIPNET—Diversity in Publishing Network. A DIPNET survey in the UK in 2007 revealed that fewer than 4 per cent of people working in editorial and senior roles within publishing are from ethnic minorities, and the prevailing perception of the industry was that it is dominated by the white middle class. The trade journal Bookseller has often discussed this issue in recent years. In India, despite lack of hard data, a similar situation obtains.

In a modest contribution towards diversity, the Seagull School of Publishing, in association with Navayana, invites applications from groups traditionally under-represented in all areas of publishing in India. In the Indian context, this would mean candidates who otherwise face exclusion owing to caste, religion and class. Two selected candidates will be offered a scholarship by Seagull and Navayana.

Applicants who wish to avail of this opportunity must write a note on how and why their candidature shall contribute to diversity in publishing. Applicants must have a good working knowledge of English since that will be the medium of instruction.

The second course for this year starts on 1st June, 2013. The application process opens from 1st February.

How Should Shakespeare Really Sound?

The British Library have released the first audio guide to how Shakespeare's plays would have sounded in the original pronunciation. 
Inspired by working with Kevin Spacey, Sir Trevor Nunn has claimed that American accents are "closer" than contemporary English to the accents of those used in the Bard's day. 
The eminent Shakespearean scholar John Barton has suggested that Shakespeare's accent would have sounded to modern ears like a cross between a contemporary Irish, Yorkshire and West Country accent. 
Others say that the speech of Elizabethans was much quicker than it is in modern day Shakespeare productions. 
Well, now you can judge for yourself. 
The British Library's new CD, Shakespeare’s original pronunciation, is the first of its kind featuring speeches and scenes which claim to be performed as Shakespeare would have heard them. 
The CD is said to bring to life rhymes and jokes that are not audible in contemporary English - as well as to illustrate what Hamlet meant when he advised his actors to speak “trippingly upon the tongue”. (‘Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue’ -- Hamlet, Act 3).
Read the entire article (you can also hear some of the recordings that have been made)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Translating Tagore's Work to Urdu

Rabindranath Tagore
Via Deccan Herald (via @IndLit)

Jamia Millia Islamia has taken up the task of translating works of Rabindranath Tagore to Urdu. The department of Urdu has taken up the responsibility of translating 10 books comprising Tagore’s important writings. Prof Khalid Mahmood, Head of the department, said, “It has been decided in the research committee meeting of Tagore Research and Translation Scheme to translate Tagore’s selected poems, fiction, essays, articles, plays, important letters, interviews and travelogues. We have been granted Rs 96 lakh by the Ministry of Culture, for this two-year project.” 

The first step that Jamia took was to arrange a workshop in this connection. It was held to translate Tagore’s fiction work, poems, including ‘Gitanjali’ and ‘The Gardener’ and important essays and articles. Also meetings of the Advisory Committee are also taking place for doing authentic translations.

Talking about retaining the essence of Gurudev’s work, Khalid accepts it as the biggest challenge. “I would say that it is impossible to retain the essence of Tagore’s work from his native language, Bengali. We wanted the Urdu reading people also to know about his writings. The native language is always the soul of one’s work. But, their are various novels in the market that are translated. This is why we are able to read novels originally written in foreign languages. It was also important for us take up this challenge for Urdu reading people who are followers of Rabindranath Tagore.”

Design a Bookplate for International Book Giving Day

Via an email sent by the International Book Giving Day team:

International Book Giving Day is looking for children’s book illustrators from countries around the world to design bookplates for International Book Giving Day 2013!

International Book Giving Day is a volunteer initiative aimed at getting books in the hands of as many children as possible on February 14th, 2013. International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to engage in simple acts of giving. We invite individuals to:
 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 
3) donate a book to a local hospital, shelter or library or to an organization that distributes used books to children internationally. In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organizations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children, such as Room to Read, Books for Africa, Book Aid International, The Book Bus, Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Pratham Books.

Children’s book illustrators are invited to design bookplates that celebrants can attach to books they give to children. We welcome bookplates written in a variety of languages. The bookplates must be 11.4 cm x 6.9 cm (or 4.5 inches x 2.7 inches) in size. We will make the bookplates available for free at International Book Giving Day’s website for people to download and print themselves. We will also offer the bookplates for sale as inexpensively as possible at International Book Giving Day’s Zazzle store. 

Children’s book authors and illustrators are also invited to support International Book Giving Day by:

1. Adding their names to the list of people giving books for International Book Giving Day. See International Book Giving Day’s website:

2. Inviting others to celebrate International Book Giving Day.

3. Taking a photo of themselves leaving a book in a waiting room, giving a book to a child, or otherwise celebrating International Book Giving Day for us to share via our website or Instagram page (#giveabook). See International Book Giving Day’s website for fun photos that authors and others shared last year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shake Up Your Story

In a world where so many things need to change, sharing Raghava KK's thoughts on 'shaking up our perspectives'. That is just one of our wishes for this new year.


Artist Raghava KK demos his new children's book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story -- and your perspective -- changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit.
"I can’t promise my child a life without bias — we’re all biased — but I promise to bias my child with multiple perspectives.”