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Man Booker nominee Jeet Thayil star of Kovalam Lit Fest

Posted on Oct 02, 07:11PM | IANS

Writer-poet Jeet Thayil, whose book "Narcopolis" has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, will be the star at the Kovalam Literary Festival 2012 in the capital Wednesday.

Thayil will read from his book and discuss his work and its socio-literary contexts with publisher-writer David Davidar, founder of the festival Binoo John said.

"Narcopolis" explores the seamy underside of Mumbai peopled by drug hawkers, pimps, prostitutes, renegades, out-of-job criminals, small-time showmen and narco-dens that often become of the breeding ground of gripping underworld soaps.

The two-city event will flag off at the India International Centre with London-based journalist Monisha Rajesh reading from her book "Around the World in 80 Trains".

The Delhi leg of the festival will open at 2 p.m. at the India International Centre and will feature six sessions. The festival will subsequently move to Trivandrum Oct 6-8.

Columnist Parsa Venkateshwar Rao will anchor the inaugural session. West Asian writers Dorit Rabinyan, 40, and 30-year-old Sarai Shavit will lend an Israeli flavour to the festival both in the capital and Kerala. In the national capital, the duo will be in conversation with poet-editor Sudeep Sen.

British freelancer Roderick Matthews, whose "Jinnah vs Gandhi" traces how Pakistan's founder and the Mahatma shaped the modern history of South Asia, will speak to political commentator Swapan Dasgupta after reading from his much-debated work. Writer Farrukh Dhondy will read from his new novel, "London Company", before conversing with journalist Amit Baruah.

The final session of the Wednesday evening will see a conversation between writers Nilanjana Roy (author of her debut novel "The Wildlings") and Open magazine editor Manu Joseph, who recently brought out his second novel, "The Illicit Happiness Of Other People".

In all, KLF 2012 will host 21 sessions.

The Thiruvananthapuram leg at Kanakakkunnu Palace will feature a lecture by human rights activist Binayak Sen and his wife Illena, besides writers such as Timeri N. Murari, Sonia Faleiro, N.S. Madhavan, Benyamin, C.P. Surendran, Biman Nath, Naresh Fernandes and Aroon Raman, besides film critic Anna M.M. Vetticad and photographer Amit Pasricha.

It will conclude with an evening of two rock-band concerts at Nishagandhi auditorium in that city.