Virtual Festival, Real Books
Online from 16 – 22 November 2020
Mumbai’s celebrated Literature Festival, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest will continue in full swing for its 11th year, in a virtual format due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Festival, which will also incorporate an entertaining Children’s Festival for two days, will be held for an entire week this time, following an overwhelming response from invitees.
As always, this edition of the Festival has a formidable range of participants including this year’s Nobel Laureate Sir Roger Penrose; the father of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky; acclaimed authors Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Lord Jeffrey Archer, Ruskin Bond, Amy Tan, Neil Gaiman, Howard Jacobson, Robert Harris, Sudha Murthy, Arun Shourie, Fareed Zakaria, Emma Donoghue, Peter May, Ashwin Sanghi, Amish, Shashi Tharoor, Shobhaa De, Farrukh Dhondy, Craig Brown; internationally known thinkers Michael Sandel, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Robin Dunbar, Henry Marsh, Christophe Jafferlot, Tom Friedman; former RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan; historian Ramachandra Guha; renowned cultural figures Javed Akhtar, T M Krishna, Sir David Hare, Naseeruddin Shah, Miriam Margolyes.
The prestigious Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest literary awards will again be presented this year: for the First Book and Book of the Year in the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories, and the Business Book of the Year. The Lifetime Achievement Award to a distinguished literary personality, and the honouring of the annual Poet Laureate, will continue to be among the main highlights of the Festival.
Speaking about the new Tata Literature Live! 2020 format, Festival Founder-Director, Anil Dharker said, “We are delighted to be able to announce that our LitFest has not fallen victim to the pandemic. The silver lining in our corona cloud has been that the necessity of holding a virtual festival has resulted in us being able to host a higher number of really star participants from across India and the world, and has enabled us to give global visibility to the much loved and awaited Tata Mumbai LitFest. I would like to once again most sincerely commend the Tata Group for its commitment to this event, and for recognising that in hard times, food for the mind and soul is as important as physical nourishment. It is a huge challenge for us to mount what has become a world class Literary Festival, online for the first time but it’s also very exciting, and we hope that both our regular, and potentially many new, audiences will find it as stimulating and compelling as always”.
Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, said, “At the Tata Group, we are very happy to support Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, which has evolved to become one of the most exciting literary festivals in the world. We are committed to literature and art, which are essential to elevate the quality of life of the communities that we serve. This year, in the times of the pandemic, the role of literature and authors is even more important, in lighting new lamps of hope, broadening our imagination, and sparking stimulating and meaningful conversations. Therefore, I am delighted that this year’s event comes to all enthusiasts of literature worldwide, in a brand new digital format, which you can easily enjoy from the comforts of your home. Please do join us, for this brilliant feast of ideas.”
Some past participants: A C Grayling, Alan Hollinghust, Alexander McCall Smith, Amitabh Bachchan, Amitav Ghosh, Anne Enright, Anthony Horowitz, Atul Gawande, Ben Okri, Craig Brown, David Ebershoff, Eike Schmidt, Ferdinand Mount, Germaine Greer, Girish Karnad, Glenn Lowry, Homi Bhabha, Ian Jack, James Fallon, Jayant Narlikar, Juliet Mitchell, Keki Daruwala, Kumar Chitre, Lionel Shriver, Marcus du Sautoy, Margaret Drabble, Mark Tully, Martin Amis, Mary Robinson. Matt Ridley, Mattew Teitelbaum, Neal MacGregor, Nicholas Hytner, Nik Gowing, Peter Frankopan. Ruth Padel, Sebastian Faulks, Shashi Tharoor, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Simon Armitage, Stephen Daldry, Sussannah Clapp, Tom Friedman, Tristram Hunt, V S Naipaul, Vikram Seth, William Dalrymple.
The Tata Group is the title sponsor of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest and the festival will also be supported by few other Tata companies. The festival is conceived by Anil Dharker, founder and festival director of Literature Live!, which organises the festival with the support of the Tata Group.