A literature fest is perhaps one of those gatherings where all kinds of writers meet. There are the ones who dream of being published, ones who write only for themselves, ones in search of something, the lonely ones.
A canvas bag or a jhola, unkempt hair (not always, of course), cotton clothing (did someone say sustainable?), interesting topics (with discussions that leave one high and dry because, timer!) – are definitely some of the ingredients of a literature festival.
This book introduces the reader to a colourful cast of characters whose lives intersect at the Jaipur Literature Festival – a lonely writer in her seventies who carries her unpublished novel in her bag wherever she goes, a burglar who is passionate about poetry, an American writer who is searching for the vanished India of her youth and many more.
Funny at times and heartfelt, this will strike a chord with aspiring writers. The characters have come to life because of a very keen observer’s writing. Because the author is one of the founders and directors of the world’s largest free literary festival, it fills the reader with more curiosity.
While the book captures the sounds, sights and smells of a literature festival aptly, it meanders while delving into the characters’ lives. Be warned that this is not a book that will only cover what goes on at the festival but also about the lives of those who are part of it.
There are multiple perspectives that take the reader into different journeys. There is Javed saab’s poetry, some bits of Spanish, Leheriya too. This meta-fictional novel is sure to bring a smile and a memory to anyone who has ever been a part of a literature festival. Those who have not been to one can experience the highs and lows of it from this pacy book (with laughter as bonus).