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Talk lists the highlights of the nine-day-long World Book Fair that starts in the Capital tomorrow.

With as many as 1,300 exhibitors,2,500 stalls and participants from 26 countries,the biennial World Book Fair (WBF) kickstarts tomorrow at Pragati Maidan. Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema,the nine-day-long fair,being organised by National Book Trust (NBT) since 1972,will explore cinema and literature. “The two are inseparable,” says MA Sikandar,Director,NBT,while Joint Director,Farida M Naik,adds,“Indian literature has always been the backbone of Indian cinema. But in the last few years,this trend hasn’t been so visible. We hope Indian cinema will draw inspiration from different leagues of books that are available today.” However,it’s not just books. Talks and panel discussions by eminent personalities,cultural performances,exhibitions and even the launch of Jeffrey Archer’s latest book,The Sins of the Father (a sequel to his 2011 title Only Time Will Tell) — there will be a lot on the readers’ plate.

Theatrical Effect

In consonance with the theme “Point of View: One Hundred Years of Indian Cinema”,there will be a separate pavilion on films with around 400 books on Indian cinema in various languages. It will comprise a collection of autobiographies,memoirs,cinematic encyclopedias and even handwritten screenplays. And though these books won’t be for sale,catalogues based on these books will be for sale. In addition,classics such as Umrao Jaan,Malgudi Days,Bengali film Charulata and Tamil film Thanneer Thanneer will be screened.

Talking Heads

Topics pertaining to literature are inevitably central to any book fair. However,besides topics such as “Selection of Children’s Books for Institutional Libraries: Is it quality-based?” to questions such as “Can e-books replace books?”,this edition of WBF will explore cinema through discussions on topics such as “Image of the Marginalised in Indian Cinema and Literature” and “Cinematic Imagination and Literary Sensibility”. Speakers from the field of cinema and literature will take centrestage. Another segment will be on cross-translation in Indian literature.

Language no Bar

A wide range of regional publishing houses have found space in the fair this time. “Since regional participation was missing last time,we travelled to almost a dozen states to get 22 regional language publishing houses and books to the fair,” says Sikandar. There will be publishers of regional languages such as Manipuri,Marathi,Oriya,Kannada,Sindhi,Urdu and even Santhali,the only tribal representation at WBF. The number of international exhibitors has also risen this year,with Thailand and Belarus as new entrants.

Delhi’s Centenary

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Delhi’s centenary celebrations will resurface at WBF through a pavilion set up by Roli Books in collaboration with NBT. “We are putting up a painting series called “Delhi Red Fort to Raisina” with an aim to showcase the way the Capital has evolved over the last 100 years,” says Pramod Kapoor,founder of Roli Books. There will also be a special section showcasing 70 images of Delhi from the British archives.

With inputs from Srija Mukherjee and Ardhra Nair, students of EXIMS

The Fair is on at Pragati Maidan from February 25 to March 4,11 am-8 pm. entry tickets are priced at Rs 20 for adults & Rs 10 for children. Contact: 26707700

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