A Scottish touch to Kolkata book fair this year

January 21st, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) Book lovers in the city will get to taste Scottish art and literature as Scotland is the “focal theme” in the Kolkata Book Fair 2009. “Scotland will be the focal theme in the book fair this year. Both countries have a lot of cultural affinities. There will be a bouquet of programmes during the book fair,” British Council director (east) Sujata Sen told reporters here Wednesday.

Scotland’s participation in the event will help to explore connections between both the countries in the spheres of art, culture, literature, heritage, music films and tourism.

“There will be Scotland counselling centre, ‘Study and Work in Scottland’, at the pavilion on the fair ground. Interactive sessions between Indian and Scottish publishers, story-telling, and events on contemporary literature will also be held at the event,” Sen said.

She said noted Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith will be present in the 33rd book fair that opens Jan 27.

Scottish story-telling centre is considered a platform to promote this particular genre as a vibrant contemporary art form.

Sen said a poetry library, emulating the pattern of Scottish poetry library, would come up in Kolkata shortly.

The Scottish poetry library in Edinburgh, founded in 1984, is a centre for poetry studies in Scotland.

“Another cultural event will also be held Jan 29 where Jenny Brown, the founder member of Edinburgh City of Literature, will speak on Edinburgh as the ‘city of literature’.”

“And noted Bengali litterateur Mani Shankar Mukherjee will also be present and give a speech on Kolkata as the ‘city of literature’.”

The Kolkata Book Fair is a unique public event that attracts over two million visitors each year, making it one of the most visited book fairs in the world.

Each year the fair nominates a theme country, and Scotland has received this honour in 2009, reflecting its international literary standing.

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