Mumbai Litfest returns with literary awards, VR installation, and more


The three-day Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest will also present its annual literary awards for fiction, non-fiction and business books

The 14th edition of the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest will start with its online edition on 25-26 October with well-known authors such as Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak, among others. The on-ground festival, which aims to recognise literary talent across genres among established and new writers, will take place in Mumbai from 27-29 October.

Earlier this week, the festival, which annually presents literary awards for fiction, non-fiction and business books, announced its longlisted titles, which include Black River by Nilanjana Roy, The Education Of Yuri by Jerry Pinto, India Is Broken by Ashoka Mody, The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff and South vs North: India’s great divide by Nilakantan R.

Storytellers and thought leaders from India and 15 other countries, including Vivek Shanbag, Faye D’Souza, Jerry Pinto, Kunal Vijayakar, Luke Coutinho, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Manoranjan Byapari, Marcus du Sautoy, Meeran Chadha Borwankar, Mehdi Hassan, Michel Bussi, and Peter Frankopan will be part of talks on fiction, art, society, nature, and economics at the Litfest.

Along with the literary awards, the highlights of the festival include the prestigious Poet Laureate and Lifetime Achievement awards, an introduction to a language other than English—this year it’s Kannada–and 14 book launches. The Binod Kanoria Awards for Children’s Literature and The Rotary Writing For Peace Award, introduced last year, will also be presented at this edition of the Litfest.

“This year’s Litfest will shine a spotlight on works by women as well as regional writers. The hybrid format introduced last year is here to stay – the festival will feature both digital and on-ground sessions,” Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons, said in a press statement.

For the first time, the festival, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, is also bringing The Infinite Library, a travelling installation that uses virtual reality and other media to reimagine the future of libraries as interactive spaces that engage people through multisensory forms of storytelling. 

It will also include a spoken word performance, explore how artificial intelligence is affecting the creative process and a dramatic presentation of epic Kannada poetry and stories. The festival will end with the announcement of the literary award winners on 29 October. 

The festival will take place at the NCPA, Nariman Point and St Pauls Institute of Communication Education and Title Waves bookstore from 27-29 October. There is no charge for entry and registration is not compulsory.

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