India 09: Market Focus at The London Book Fair


The British Council presented the largest ever festival of Indian writers overseas at the London Book Fair this week (20-22 April). Over 45 Indian writers representing 15 major Indian languages participated in literary events in London and at venues across the UK. Vikram Seth, award winning writer of ‘A Suitable Boy’ featured as Author of The Day on April 21. Nobel Prize winning writer and economist, Amartya Sen was interviewed by David Miliband and gave a keynote speech India in the Modern World. The events offered an insight into the how much India has changed post independence. In terms of language and literature development, speakers offered a deeper understanding of how much the cultural landscape is being shaped by technology, and the West, and the desire for younger generations to read, and write in English. There were many mixed views, differences of opinion, and heated arguments during panel sessions. What was highlighted was the amazing diversity of an ‘Indian writer’. The fact that is for many Indian writers their languages shapes their identities. Some of the writers expressed frustration that writing in their own language, marginalised their work and meant that they were unable to reach the readers that they desire.

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