· 100 Years of Oxford Bookstore is the festival theme for 2023
· The Indian Museum in Kolkata, the oldest such museum in Asia, is partnering the three-day literary festival which will be held on the majestic museum grounds as well as the heritage Oxford Bookstore.
· The Pulitzer Prize-winning iconic writer Alice Walker will be among over 100 speakers at AKLF, which will be held in its original onsite format with some hybrid sessions.
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Ø Festival Dates – January 12 to January 15, 2023
Ø Inauguration – on January 12, 2023, with leading Kolkata authors, scholars and artists to celebrate 100 Years of Oxford Bookstore, an iconic landmark of Kolkata.
Ø Heritage Venue – Festival partner The Indian Museum, Kolkata, will host AKLF in the majestic museum grounds.
Ø Inclusiveness – Sessions focusing on Women, Dalit, LGBTQ++ writing; Translation; Children’s and Young Adult Writing.
Ø Tributes – Birthday tribute to Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Centennial tribute to Mrinal Sen
Ø Wide range – From historical fiction to biography, memoir to food and nutrition, wellness to mental health, cinema to poetry, there is something for everyone
Ø Shortlist announcement- Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize will announce the shortlist
December 13, 2022, Kolkata: Apeejay Surrendra Group and Oxford Bookstores announced that the 14th edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) will be hosted in partnership with the Indian Museum on its grounds from January 12 to January 15, 2023.
After going online for two consecutive editions because of COVID the 14th edition of AKLF reverts to its physical format. The first international literary festival in Kolkata and Eastern India, AKLF, a non-profit initiative, free for everyone, is the only Literary Festival organised by a bookstore, the 100-year-old Oxford Bookstore. This edition of AKLF has 100 Years of Oxford Bookstore as its theme. Alice Walker, in the company of renowned international, national and diasporic authors, will participate in AKLF 2023.
Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group said ‘We look forward to celebrating the centenary of the Oxford Bookstore at AKLF 2023 with several special events plus our signature Oxford Junior Literary Festival for younger readers – who, as the book lovers of tomorrow, are the future of Oxford Bookstore. I am delighted that after two years of virtual editions, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival is returning to the physical format in partnership with the magnificent heritage institution, the Indian Museum. This resonates perfectly with our celebration of 100 Years of the Oxford Bookstore, a heritage property and real Kolkata institution.’
Arijit Dutta Choudhury, Director, Indian Museum, Kolkata said, ‘It gives us immense pleasure to share that on the momentous occasion of the celebration of 75 years of India’s Independence, Indian Museum in collaboration with the Oxford Bookstore and the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) is organizing the 14th edition of this literary festival on January 2023 at the Indian Museum, Kolkata. The Indian Museum is the oldest and largest museum of our country. This multipurpose Institution with multidisciplinary activities is the pride of the nation. The primary focus of organizing this event is to encourage and strengthen the mental and cultural spirit of our visitors and to promote Indian culture through our devotion to upholding the tangible and intangible heritage of our country.’
Maina Bhagat, Director, Oxford Bookstore and AKLF said, ‘The 14th edition of AKLF unfolds a year-long celebration of the Heritage Oxford Bookstore’s centenary – a journey which reflects the life, times and rich history of our great city. Oxford Bookstore has enriched generations of book lovers, to bring the world closer through books, to express their own vision of the future at the bookstore’s various platforms, to celebrate the diversity and richness of human experience. It has enabled our stories, our culture, and our history to be passed on to future generations. As Neil Gaiman said, ‘Bookstores are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape, knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places. As it steps into the future, Oxford Bookstore continues to strive for excellence, and to be, simply put, the best of places.’
Anjum Katyal, Director, AKLF said ‘In celebrating 100 Years of Oxford Bookstore, AKLF celebrates the infinite and inclusive world of a true bookstore, which makes space on its shelves and in its heart for debate, dissent, and contrasting points of view; and which welcomes writers of every race, caste and creed. No subject is too heavy or too light, too obscure or too popular for the bookstore, and AKLF reflects this wide range of interests in its programming. We cover everything from Historical Fiction to Mental Health to Gender, Street Food to Lifestyle, Mystery to Cinema. Come and savour the variety on offer.’
For its 14th edition, the festival will feature a prestigious list of speakers, authors, and humanitarians from diverse fields of non-fiction, fiction, history, wellness to mental health, mythology, food, dance, history, art, and culture, translations, poetry, and music, language, on the grounds of Indian Museum. The Pulitzer Prize-winning iconic writer Alice Walker will be among over 100 speakers at AKLF. The illustrious list of speakers also includes filmmakers Onir and Muzaffar Ali; poet Jerry Pinto, poet Jeet Thayil; journalist, author, and columnist Vir Sanghvi; author Shobhaa De; author, academician, and museum curator Dr. Alka Pande; poet Janice Pariat; dancer Mallika Sarabhai; author Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan; actor Arunoday Singh; author Durjoy Datta; journalist and columnist Bachi Karkaria; translator Arunava Sinha; author Anuja Chauhan; filmmaker and author Vandana Kohli; social activist and writer Syeda Hameed; actor Divya Dutta; chef and author Karen Anand; French dancer and choreographer Annette Leday; writer Christopher Kloeble; author John Zubrzycki; singer Usha Uthup, author Shalini Modi; translator Arshia Sattar; journalist and author Shrabani Basu; publisher and writer Urvashi Butalia.
Along with the festival partner The Indian Museum the other partners include The Park Hotels, The Glenburn Penthouse, Cha Bar, Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, French Embassy in India / Ambassade de France en Inde, Institut français India, Alliance Française du Bengale, Prakriti Foundation, and Seagull Books.