The pristine Kovalam beach here will host leading writers and thinkers from across the country and beyond for the inaugural edition of "Books on the Beach", a literature festival that celebrates and contemplates both the written word and its expression, said politician and author Shashi Tharoor.The lit-fest, which is organised by non-profit India Book Foundation under the guidance and active patronage of Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram MP and supported by Kerala Tourism, will be held over three days starting November 10.The event would see writers of prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, essayists and environmentalists, artists and academics, reporters and editors conduct readings and recitals besides participating in meaningful debates and dialogues on a multitude of topics."Literature has real value. It appeals to a more discerning audience.
The Hay Festival here a few years ago was a huge success and led to increased awareness of Kerala thanks to word of mouth. "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 energise the already vibrant reading culture in the state," said Tharoor.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, said officials."Cultural festivals play an important role in branding and promoting destinations. Kerala Tourism is presently positioning the state as an arts and culture hub. It will provide a fillip to tourism in the state, and in particular renew interest in Kovalam. The litfest will enjoy Kerala Tourism's full support," said Kerala Tourism chief V. Venu.