The curtain raiser of fourteenth edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) was hosted with a dialogue between author and politician Shashi Tharoor and historian and author Rudrangshu Mukherjee on 29 December at the century-old Oxford Bookstore, Park Street, Kolkata.
The event saw Shashi Tharoor speaking about his memories associated with the century-old Oxford Bookstore and having an engaging conversation on his books.
100 years of Oxford Bookstore is the festival theme for 2023. The Indian Museum in Kolkata, the oldest such museum in Asia, is partnering the three-day literary festival which will be held on the majestic museum grounds as well as the heritage Oxford Bookstore.
Pulitzer Prize-winning iconic writer Alice Walker; actor Dhritiman Chatterji; Australian author John Zubrzycki; poet Jeet Thayil; author Anuja Chauhan will be among over 100 speakers at AKLF, which will be held in its original onsite format with some hybrid sessions.
Curated by the Oxford Bookstore, the theme of the curtain raiser of the fourteenth AKLF was “100 years of Oxford Bookstore: Cover to Cover.” The event saw Shashi Tharoor reminiscing about his memories of the Oxford Bookstore. Tharoor also spoke at length about his books with Rudrangshu Mukherjee. Foreign affairs columnist Ishan Tharoor, who had a long relationship with Oxford Bookstore, was the special guest at the event.
Speaking at the event, author and politician Shashi Tharoor said,”Oxford Bookstore has been part of my journey from a student at Calcutta to becoming of a writer all through.”
On a candid chat with historian and author Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Shashi Tharoor shared his experiences of writing journey from campus journalism to best selling author. ” I may not be an MP or in politics someday but I will never retire as a writer. So being an Author is my permanent identity”, said Dr. Tharoor.
Anjum Katyal, Director of the 14th AKLF said, ” A stimulating conversation between two prominent thinkers of our country, starting with reminiscences and personal experiences of Oxford Bookstore as we celebrate it’s 100 years, is the best kind of curtain raiser for AKLF. This is just a taste of what lies in store, as we welcome everyone to AKLF at the Indian Museum from 12-15 January.”
Neeta Sreedharan, Programme Head of the 14th AKLF saif,” We are delighted and honoured to witness a tête-à-tête like never before as we host Shashi Tharoor and Rudrangshu Mukherjee, two literary stalwarts who never fall short of delivering riveting conversations; coming together to retrieve their memories of the iconic Oxford Bookstore, we have all come to love. At AKLF we are raising bars and curtains, as we celebrate Oxford Bookstore’s splendid entry into the next century. It only gets better from here at #AKLF2023.”
For its 14th edition, the festival will feature a prestigious list of speakers, authors, and humanitarians from diverse fields of non-fiction, fiction, history, wellness to mental health, mythology, food, dance, history, art, and culture, translations, poetry and music, language, on the grounds of Indian Museum.
Along with the festival partner the Indian Museum, the other partners include The Park Hotels, The Glenburn Penthouse, Cha Bar, Goethe Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan, French Embassy in India/ Ambassade de France enlnde, Institutfrancais India, Alliance Francaise du Bengale, The Australian High Commission, 91.9 Friends FM, Prakriti Foundation, iLead and Seagull Books.