Thiruvananthapuram: Leading writers and thinkers from across India and abroad will participate in the inaugural edition of 'Books on the Beach', a literature festival to be held here in November.
The literature fest, organized by non-profit India Book Foundation under the guidance and patronage of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, MP, and supported by Kerala Tourism, will be held at Kovalam from November 10-12. Besides serving as an annual platform for the best in Indian and world literature, Books on the Beach will over successive editions tap into the city's youthful energy and distinctive charm to promote it as a leading destination for culture and tourism, Tharoor and Dr Venu V, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, told reporters here Tuesday.
"Literature has real value. It appeals to a more discerning audience. The Hay Festival of literature and arts here a few years ago was a huge success", Tharoor said.
"It is 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," Tharoor said.
Over the three-day event, writers of prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, essayists and environmentalists, artists and academics, reporters and editors will conduct readings and recitals besides participating in meaningful debates and dialogues on a multitude of topics.
"Cultural festivals play an important role in branding and promoting destinations. Kerala Tourism is presently positioning the state as an arts and culture hub", Venu said.
A literature festival with an international perspective will fit in nicely alongside the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, IFFK and International Theatre festival as powerful brand ambassadors, he said.
"It will provide a fillip to tourism in the state, and in particular renew interest in Kovalam. The lit fest will enjoy Kerala Tourism's full support," Venu said, noting that the initial response to Books on the Beach has been very positive, festival director Sabin Iqbal said.
"We expect to field a strong line-up of about 30 international and Indian writers, many of whom have already expressed their willingness to attend", he said.