Neighbours in Arms – An American Senator’s Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent

Larry Pressler

Publisher : Penguin
Date/Year of Launch : October, 2017
“Pakistan is more dangerous than North Korea… it should be declared a terrorist State,” said former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler – the man behind the Pressler Amendment – during the launch of his book, which provides a comprehensive account of how U.S. foreign policy in the subcontinent was formed from 1974 till today. He was in conversation with conversation with Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor, The Hindu. The event was organised in association with Penguin and Starmark.

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A Tangle of Brungles

Shobha Viswanath

Illustrator : Culpeo S. Fox
Publisher : Karadi Tales
Date/Year of Launch : September, 2017
The Hindu Lit for Life Children’s Fest and Karadi Tales got together to launch A Tangle of Brungles, a picture book for children. The book takes children through a journey of hilarious collective nouns, spells gone wrong, and turns the conventional fairy tale format on its head. “Children love collective nouns and this is a really fun way to teach them that,” said Viswanath. The event included a special dramatic performance of the story by Crea-Shakthi. Celebrated classical pianist, Anil Srinivasan, was presented the first copy of the book.

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I Do What I Do – On reform, rhetoric and resolve

Raghuram Rajan

Publisher : Harper Collins
Date/Year of Launch : September, 2017
Speaking at the release of his book I do What I Do at a function jointly hosted by Taj Coromandel, The Hindu Lit for Life and The University of Chicago, the former IMF chief economist referred to some of the speeches he had made as Governor that were less about monetary policy and more about the economic climate and said the RBI chief was unique in that the role was not that of a bureaucrat, who operates by a set of rules. Fielding a wide range of questions from the former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N Ravi about some of the passages in the book and the challenges he had faced as central banker, Dr Rajan said the stress in the banking sector had been one of the areas where he felt the least progress had been achieved during his tenure. The adoption of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) since then was a significant development that gave bankers the comfort of a shadow under which they could negotiate more confidently with defaulters.

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The Goat Thief

Perumal Murugan (Translated by N. Kalyan Raman)

Publisher : Juggernaut
Date/Year of Launch : November, 2017
The Goat Thief, a collection of 10 short stories by Tamil writer Perumal Murugan and translated into English by N. Kalyan Raman, was launched at an event organised by The Hindu Lit For Life. The launch was followed by a conversation between the writer, translator, and noted Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna who anchored the discussion. “It occurred to me that there should be a proper presentation of Perumal Murugan. We should write about Tamil writers in English to popularise them,” said Kalyan Raman.

Talking about the titular story, Perumal Murugan said, “I cannot write about gods or people. I cannot write about cows or pigs. The only animal I could write about was a goat. The story was about the life of a goat.”

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EVENT : Chennai and its Chroniclers

Date/Year of Launch : August, 2017
The discussion, organised in association with Starmark Bookstore, Express Avenue, was the first of a series of events leading up to The Hindu Lit For Life 2018. The talk, featuring city-based writers Krishna Shastri Devulapalli and Sivasankari, was introduced by historian S. Muthiah, and moderated by heritage activist, V. Sriram. Held to celebrate Madras Day, the discussion skimmed across Chennai’s evolution, its lost treasures, the way it inspires literature, and the people who made it what it was and is. The one point everyone seemed to agree on was that despite the wealth of culture and writing the city has to offer, it appears to be slightly neglected by most publishers and bookstore owners. “There are at least 160 books (English) on Madras at the moment. Where have they gone?” asked Muthiah.

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The House that BJ Built

Anuja Chauhan

Publisher : Westland
Year of Launch : 2015
In Chennai, to promote her fourth and latest book, The House That BJ Built, as part of The Hindu Lit for Life Book Talk, powered by Westland, Anuja discussed her works and signed copies for excited students at MOP Vaishnav College in the morning, and for the public at Amethyst in the evening. “If I write a book, you’ll read it in two nights, but I have to spend 16 months with that damn thing. So I write what fascinates me.”

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The Bestseller She Wrote

Ravi Subramanian

Publisher : Westland
Year of Launch : 2015
Author Ravi Subramanian, who was in the city for The Hindu Lit for Life Book Talk, spoke to his readers about juggling the worlds of banking and writing. Nine years ago, when he started spending volumes of time drafting his first book, If God Was A Banker, his wife had nervously asked him : “Are you going to quit your job?” Ravi’s answer was in the negative, and he said he would keep the home fires burning. “So, the transition to becoming a writer was smooth, and she told me I could do whatever I wanted!” he recalls with a laugh, even as the crowd — a few loaded with bulging shopping bags — around the stage swelled, at Phoenix Market City. The eight-books-old writer chatted with author and publisher Sandhya Sridhar about shifting genres from thriller to romance with his new book, The Bestseller She Wrote.

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