Dates Set in India for ‘Books on the Beach’ Literature and Tourism Festival

In News by Dennis Abrams

With a goal of generating cultural tourism, the state of Kerala announces a new three-day program in November at the beach town of Kovalam, near Thiruvananthapuram.

Beachfront hotels at Kavalam, the beach at which the ‘Books on the Beach’ festival is to be set in November. Image = iStockphoto: Pius 99

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

New on ‘the City’s Culturescape’

The India Book Foundation has announced dates for an inaugural edition of a literature called Books on the Beach, near Thiruvananthapruam, capital of the state of Kerala.

Running the weekend of November 20-12, the festival is to be staged in the neighboring beach town of Kovalam, according to press materials.

During the festival, says a news release, “writers of prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, essayists and environmentalists, artists and academics, reporters and editors, will conduct readings and recitals,” along with debates and dialogues on a variety of subjects.

Speaking for the organizers, Shashi Tharoor is quoted in a prepared statement, saying:

Shashi Tharoor

“Literature has real value. It appeals to a more discerning audience.

“The Hay Festival here a few years ago was a huge success and led to increased awareness of Kerala, thanks to word of mouth. It’s time we established a durable institution that showcases Thiruvananthapuram and Kerala as a place of ideas and culture.

“But a lit-fest is not for visitors alone; it will also further energize the already vibrant reading culture in the state.”

One aspiration of the organizers is to “tap into the city’s youthful energy and distinctive charm,” according to a news release, to help promote the area’s tourism.

Venu V. of the tourism department is quoted, saying, “Cultural festivals play an important role in branding and promoting destinations.

“Kerala Tourism is presently positioning the state as an arts and culture hub. A literature festival with an international perspective will fit in nicely alongside the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, IFFK and International Theater festival as powerful brand ambassadors.”

Sabin Iqbal, who is to direct the festival, describes an anticipated lineup of some 30 Indian and international writers participating.

The goal, says Iqbal, is for the fair to be more than just an “isolated activity,” but instead a “permanent fixture on the city’s culturescape.”

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.