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What to expect at Coimbatore Book Festival 2022

Coimbatore Book Festival is back after a two-year gap with book launches, literary meets, and cultural events

Coimbatore Book Festival is back after a two-year gap with book launches, literary meets, and cultural events

Why should one read a novel? Hear if from writer S Ramakrishnan at the Coimbatore Book Festival. The Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author will be talking on the subject on day four of the event, which is back in the city after a gap of two years. “Ask any Tamil reader, especially youngsters, what novel they are reading and they will not have an answer,” says Ramakrishnan, “They read essays on social issues, but not novels.”

It is Tamil readers in their 30s and 40s who seek the novel; those in their 20s, do not pick the genre, Ramakrishnan says adding that they perhaps feel that with 300 to 400 pages of text, the novel is too tedious to plod through. “We usually see only 10 to 15 novels releasing per year in Tamil, whereas in English, the number is much higher,” points out Ramakrishnan, adding: “Readers seek knowledge and pick nonfiction; but fail to seek an experience that a novel provides.” The author will be speaking on novels from across the world, as well as from the Tamil and Indian literary circles.

Kudavayil Balasubramanian, Archaeologist and Former curator and publication manager at Saraswathi Mahal Library at Thanjavur.
| Photo Credit: Moorthy M

Coimbatore Book Festival presents lovers of literature in the city an opportunity to meet big names in the field as well as engage in discussions on the works of their favourite authors. “The event brings together 150 publishers and we will have over 250 stalls selling two lakh titles,” says B Vijay Anand, the chairman of the festival: “We have planned 20 new releases at the venue; the Author’s Corner where readers can meet writers, being among the highlights.”

The event, which is being held by Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) and Book Sellers and Publishers Associaton of South India (BAPASI), will see Kudavayil Balasubramanian who writes historical nonfiction, receiving the lifetime achievement award from writer B Jeyamohan. Coimbatore Book Festival, in keeping with its spirit of encouraging fresh talent, will also recognise poet Nizhali, and writers Suresh Pradeep and Vadivarasu.

With book launches and discussions happening through the day, evenings will see a host of cultural programmes, including a Thirukkural recital. “We have 5,000 students reciting 20 couplets in chorus, pausing to explain each one’s meaning and significance,” explains Vijay Anand.

“Also, Coimbatore being an industrial city, a day will be dedicated to families of all our industrial workers,” he adds.

The Coimbatore Book Festival is on from July 22 to 31, 10am to 8pm, at CODISSIA trade fair complex. Entry is free.

What’s in store

A performance of songs written by poet Kannadasan and sung by SP Balasubrahmanyam 

A musical evening with Vijay TV Super Singers and Beatz, a music band, and a performance by popular television comedians such as Bala and Sathish

A pattimandram to be headed by Tamil scholar Solomon Pappaiah

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