Anushka Ravishankar used to write computer programmes before she switched to writing absurd verse for children. She has written over thirty books for children, including picture books in verse, chapter books, retellings of folk tales and non-fiction. Several of them have been published internationally and have won awards. Some of her books are Catch That Crocodile, Moin and the Monster, To Market To Market and Tiger on a Tree. She has worked in an editorial capacity at Tara Books and Scholastic India. In 2012, she co-founded Duckbill Books, which publishes funny, edgy and exciting Indian books for children and young adults. She is currently the Regional Advisor for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), India.
AR VenkatachalapathyHistorian, Author and Translator
AR Venkatachalapathy, historian, author and translator, is Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. He has taught at universities in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Chicago, and Singapore. Chalapathy writes in Tamil and English, and has published widely on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamil Nadu. His publications include In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History; The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu; Chennai, Not Madras (ed); and In the Tracks of the Mahatma: The Making of a Documentary (ed). He has translated Sundara Ramaswamy’s J J.: Some Jottings and, in collaboration with M.L. Thangappa, has published two volumes of classical Tamil poetry in the Penguin classics: Love Stands Alone and Red Lilies and Frightened Birds. He is the winner of the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize (2007). He is now writing a biography of Periyar.
Adrian Levy is a former staff writer and foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times, and the Guardian. Along with Cathy Scott-Clark, he won the One World award for foreign reporting and was Press Journalist of the Year. Their third book, Deception (2008), was a Washington Post Book of the Year, and finalist in the Royal United Services Institute, Duke of Westminster’s medal for Military History. The Meadow (2012), won the Ramnath Goenka Award. The Siege (2014) won the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. The Exile was published in May. They have produced documentaries for HBO, PBS, BBC 1, BBC 2, C4.
Vaasanthi is a freelance journalist and writer based in Delhi. Formerly Editor, India Today Tamil, her articles have appeared in The Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Tehelka, Swagat, Media Transasia, The Week, India Today, Open and several online magazines. She has also published thirty novels, six short-story collections, four volumes of articles and four travelogues in Tamil. Her works have been translated in Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, English, Norwegian, Czech and Dutch. Two of her novels were made into films in Malayalam. Her book on Tamil Nadu politics, Cut-outs, Caste and Cine Stars: The World of Tamil Politics was published in 2006. Her biography of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa: A Portrait (2012) received a court injunction against its release. A more recent biography is Amma: A Journey from a Movie Star to a Political Queen (2016).
Akash Kapur is an author and journalist who grew up in Auroville, India. His work has appeared, among other places, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Hindu, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Outlook. He is the author of India Becoming: Journey Through a Changing Landscape (Penguin 2012), which was named a Best Book of 2012 by The New Yorker and The New Republic. He is also the editor of Auroville: Dream and Reality (Penguin 2018), an anthology of writing from Auroville, and is at work on a book on the quest for utopia.
Akhila Krishnamurthy, a journalist and arts entreprenuer based in Chennai heads the brand events of The Hindu. She was a freelance journalist and an arts entrepreneur based in Chennai. As a journalist, Akhila has worked as a features writer and Editor for The Times of India, and the India Today Group. She has also written extensively on arts and culture for leading publications in India that include the New Indian Express, Outlook, Tehelka, Harper's Bazaar, and the National Geographic Traveller India. In 2012, Akhila founded Aalaap, a one-of-a-kind arts' initiative in Chennai that works with performing artistes across India and the world on aspects of ideation, curation, production, promotions and design. In 2013, Aalaap won the Original Idea of the Year award from Femina. In 2017, at the Startupreneurs conference organised by the CII, Tamilnadu Chapter, Akhila won the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She currently heads the brand events of The Hindu.
Amitava Kumar is the author of several works of non-fiction and two novels. His latest book, Immigrant, Montana: A Novel, is forthcoming; the Indian edition, entitled The Lovers, was recently published. Kumar’s writing has appeared in Harper’s, The Guardian, New Yorker, Vanity Fair and the New York Times. His essay “Pyre,” published in Granta, was selected by Jonathan Franzen for Best American Essays 2016. Kumar is Professor of English at Vassar College and a Guggenheim Fellow
Ammu Joseph is an independent journalist and author based in Bengaluru. Among her publications are six books. She has contributed to many other books and publications, both Indian and international. She has been on the visiting faculty of several institutions of media education and is a founder-member of the Network of Women in Media, India as well as Media Watch Bengaluru. With degrees in English Literature (Madras University) and Public Communications (Syracuse University), she began her career with Eve's Weekly in Bombay in 1977. In her last full-time job within the press, she was editor of the Sunday magazine of The Indian Post, Bombay.
Ananya Vajpeyi is a scholar and author, based at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. She is trained in the study of languages and literatures, both Indian and European, and writes widely about ideas, politics and the arts. Her book Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India, published by Harvard University Press in 2012, won the 41st Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize, the Tata First Book Prize for Non-Fiction (2013) and the Crossword Award for Non-Fiction (2013). She contributes regularly to The Hindu since 2013. In the fall of 2017 she is a Charles Wallace Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, at Cambridge University. She enjoys reading fiction and poetry, and loves visiting Chennai, and tries to do all these things as often as she can.
Anita Thampi is a Malayalam poet and translator living in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She has published three collections of poetry: Muttamatikkumpol (While Sweeping the Front Yard, 2004), Azhakillaathavayellam (All That are Bereft of Beauty, 2010), and Alappuzha Vellam (Alappuzha Water, 2016). In 2007, a collection of her translations of Australian poet Les Murray was published in a bilingual edition. She has also translated I Saw Ramallah, an autobiographical monologue of Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, into Malayalam. Her other translated works include the Spanish classic Platero and I and the Italian classic Pinocchio.
Anu Majumdar was born in Allahabad. Discovering Sri Aurobindo while in college in Kolkata was a life-changing experience which led her to Auroville in 1979. She has worked in different areas such as the Matrimandir construction site and as a dancer-choreographer with the Auroville Dance Lab. At present her interest lies in city planning as a means to enable Auroville further. Her books include Refugees from Paradise & God Enchanter, (fiction), Island of Infinity & Infinity Papers (YA), as well as two collections of poetry. Auroville: A City for the Future is her first non-fiction book.
Arimalam S Padmanabhan (Dr) is a musicologist, musician, composer, folklorist, author and orator. He is a former Fellow, Central Institute of Classical Tamil; a former Guest Faculty at the School of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University; a Residential Fellow at the Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture; and Visiting Professor at the Department of Music, University of Madras. With over 25 years of research experience in Tamil music, musical theatre and folk arts, he is the author of seven books and several research articles. He is also a vocalist and an auditioned artiste (MAB) of All India Radio since 1979. His Mariammai Kaviyam is a compilation of Christian poetry composed in the Tamil Pann tradition. As a teacher-educator he has conducted workshops and training programmes in group singing, choir singing and mass singing. He has composed music for documentary films, dance, dance dramas and television programmes. His awards include the Kalaimamani (Government of Puducherry).
Arshia Sattar works with myths, epics and the other story telling traditions of the sub-continent. Her abridged translation of the Valmiki Ramayana is published as a Penguin Classic and has remained in print for 20 years. Her most recent books are 'Uttara: The Book of Answers" (Penguin Randomhouse India, 2016) a series of essays about Valmiki's Uttara Kanda and The Ramayana for Children (Juggernaut, 2016). Arshia has a PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilisations from the University of Chicago where she worked with AK Ramanujan and Wendy Doniger.
Arun Kumar retired from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2015. He is currently the Malcolm Adisheshiah Chair Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences. His books include The Black Economy in India, Understanding Black Economy and Black Money, Indian Economy Since Independence: Persisting Colonial Disruption, Challenges Facing Indian Universities and the forthcoming Demonetization and Black Economy.He regularly participates in public discourse on current subjects.
Arundhathi Nag, the Creative Director of Rangashankara, Bengaluru, is an actor in theatre and cinema and advisor on several national institutions. She has performed in over 1000 shows in five langauges in both amateur and professional theatre. From Shakespeare, Ibsen, Beckett to Karnad and Tendulkar, she has performed in a variety of genres. She acted in India's first TV serial Haji Avi Kaal Che. She was Assistant Director to David Lean for Passage to India and assisted in and wrote the dialogues for the TV serial Malgudi Days. Her awards include the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
AS Paneerselvan is the Readers' Editor of The Hindu, an independent internal news ombudsman functioning with clearly formulated Terms of Reference. Apart from being a regular columnist, he is also a journalism teacher and is an adjunct faculty of the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. He is a member of the governing body of the KM Adimoolam Foundation for Arts in Chennai and an editorial advisor for the long-form magazine, The Little Magazine. He has directed a documentary film, Making Trouble Where There Is None, for Frontline magazine about communal mobilisation under the cover of the Lord Ganesh festival in Chennai. He was a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford. He has lectured widely in the UK , the United States of America and Europe.