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Auroville Literature Festival 2023: Exploring the worlds within words

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

During these sessions, distinguished keynote speakers and moderators will engage in conversations revolving around themes pertinent to today’s society.


CHENNAI: Puducherry, the land of myriad cultures is set to witness a celebration of literary works sourced from across the world. Given that the words are celebrated throughout the town, it’s hardly surprising that the city is now eagerly preparing to host its very own literature festival. A novel venture that is being sewn under the banner of the Auroville Literature Festival, it will be held from August 25-27, across the various zones of Auroville’s International Zone campus.

Held in collaboration with the Chennai International Centre and the Valley of Words festival, with the backing of the Ministry of Culture to commemorate Sri Aurobindo’s 150th year and the Auroville Foundation, the festival will spotlight discussions covering a spectrum of works, ranging from timeless classics to modern bestsellers. During these sessions, distinguished keynote speakers and moderators will engage in conversations revolving around themes pertinent to today’s society.


Unveiling literary treasures

The two-and-a-half-day festival will have an eclectic mix of authors, poets, and thinkers, with a total of seven authors from the G20 nations, 17 representing India, approximately 10 constituting the Sri Aurobindo category, and three recipients of youth awards. This event will also showcase an array of panel discussions, talks, and presentations centred around Sri Aurobindo’s profound legacy.


“There is one interesting book getting launched in the Sri Aurobindo section for its historic interest. This is the translation of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s The Deliverance from Bengali to English, which was then revised by Sri Aurobindo himself and published with a preface by Rabindranath Tagore,” says Anu Majumder, one of the coordinators of the festival.

When asked about the contents being spoken in the fest, Anu says, “History takes a varied perspective through the books of Sanjeev Sanyal, Nandini Sengupta, Peggy Mohan, Manju Kak, and the Youth Award authors. The culture of humanity sees strong authors like Namita Gokhale, Anne Weber, Violaine Huisman, Karen Jennings, Shreya Sen, Jennifer Down, and S Hareesh, whose exploration extends to books delving into the journey of Auroville as a city. Additionally, a substantial poetry section features the poetic voices of Ranjit Hoskote, Sudeep Sen, George Szirtes (who will be joining online), and other contributors from the Converse anthology, a significant collection launched in commemoration of India’s 75th year.”

A world of literary soirees Attendees can expect to delve into a mosaic of narratives and discussions that challenge preconceptions and open windows to unexplored worlds throughout the festival. Some interesting talks include, a discussion by Nandini Sengupta on Reclaiming the Forgotten Queen, where she will converse with Jayanti Ravi about the Rani Durgavati, the ruling Queen of Gondwana from 1550 until 1564; the renowned linguist Peggy Mohan talking about


Wanders, Kings, and Merchants, with John D. Andrea, etc.

As the evening approaches, get ready to indulge in a world where music and the arts mingle together. Experience the theatrical showcase of JAYA, I want life, meticulously crafted by the Surya Performance Lab Auroville, alongside an array of other captivating cultural performances that await you. So, prepare to be starstruck as literary luminaries gather under one roof to share their insights and inspirations!

A free-for-all event, the organisers advice you to register either by writing to aurovillelitfest@auroville.org.in or in person at the main festival venue, Bharat Nivas. For details, visit: www.aurovillelitfest.org

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