WORDS ON WATER- India & Israel in Conversation
Jerusalem: 12 May @ Mishkenot Sha’ananim , 9.30am - 5.30pm
|Words on Water, the Literary Festival of Indian & Israeli Writers, attempts to mainstream the ideas of contemporary India & Indian writing in English for an Israeli audience. Of all the practiced arts writers capture the essence of societies and put into words what many of us just sense but have not been able to articulate.
The attempt is to move from the purely academic and portray Indian writing as enlightening and engaging. Through topical issues we hope to capture the mind space of a broad swath of people and introduce Israeli audiences to the trends in Indian writing in English of recent times.
Book readings, book signings, ‘meet-the-author’ opportunities, as well as talks and discussions between Israeli & Indian writers will bring together two diverse yet similar cultures.
|Israeli writer A.B. Yehoshua graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a degree in philosophy and Hebrew literature. Yehoshua teaches in the Department of Comparative and Hebrew Literature at Haifa University where he holds the position of a full time professor. Recently, his book, A Journey to the End of the Millenium was composed into opera for the Israeli Opera from a libretto, which he adapted from his own novel by the same title. His recent books include: The Liberated Bride and A Woman in Jerusalem.|
|David Shulman is an Indologist and regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the languages of India. His research embraces many fields, including the history of religion in South India, Indian poetics, Tamil Islam, Dravidian linguistics, and Carnatic music. He is also a published poet in Hebrew, a literary critic, a cultural anthropologist, and a peace activist. He was formerly Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and professor in the Department of Indian, Iranian and Armenian Studies, and now holds an appointment as Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 books on various subjects ranging from temple myths and temple poems to essays that cover the wide spectrum of the cultural history of South India.|
|Iraqi born Israeli author, Eli Amir, writes for Israeli and the international press. His books include: Scapegoat; Farewell, Baghdad; Saul's Love; A Blind Date and Jasmine. Amir’s Scapegoat was scripted for television, and written and performed as a play in two theatrical productions. Amir has been awarded the Youth Immigration’s Jubilee Prize (1983), the Jewish Literature Prize (Mexico, 1985), the Ahi Award (1994), Am Oved’s Jubilee Prize (1994), and the Prime Minister’s Prize (2002). He received honorary doctorates from the Weitzman Institute of Science, Ben Gurion University and Tel Aviv University.|
|Israeli writer and publicist Meir Shalev published his first novel, The Blue Mountain (Roman Rusi) in 1988. For many years he has been writing a weekly column in the weekend edition of the newspaper Yediot Achronot. Among his books are: Esau; As a Few Days; His House in the Desert; Fontanelle; A Pigeon and A Boy and My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner (V'Hadavar Haya Kaha). Shalev has also written many childrens’ and non-fiction books.|
|Miron C. Izakson was born in Haifa in 1956, a fourth-generation Israeli: his great-grandfather, Dr. Aharon Meir Mazia, was the chairman of the Hebrew Language Committee after Eliezer ben Yehuda. Encouraged early on by the poet Uri Zvi Greenberg, he has been writing since his youth. His novel, Aliza’s Pregnancy, will be published soon. Having studied law and Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Tel Aviv University, he now lectures in the Hebrew literature department of Bar-Ilan University and directs the creative writing track. Izakson was awarded the President’s Prize for literature in 2001.|
|Namita Gokhale is a writer and publisher. Her first novel, Paro: Dreams Of Passion, caused an uproar due to its candid sexual humour. Her other books include, Gods, Graves & Grandmother, A Himalayan Love Story, Mountain Echoes: The Book of Shadows, The Book of Shiva-Shankuntala, The Play of Memory and The Mahabharata for young readers. Namita Gokhale is also a Director at Yatra Books, and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.|
|Navtej Sarna joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1980. He is presently India’s Ambassador to Israel and has earlier served as a diplomat in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington DC. He is the author of The Exile, We Weren’t Lovers Like That , The Book of Nanak , Folk Tales of Poland and his latest, the translation of The Zafarnama published as a Penguin Classic. His short stories have been broadcast over the BBC World Service and published in prominent magazines and anthologies in the UK and in India.|
|In a 27-year career as a journalist, Tarun Tejpal has been an editor with the India Today and the Indian Express groups, and managing editor of Outlook. He is the founder of Tehelka - which has garnered international fame for its aggressive public interest journalism. Tarun’s debut novel, The Alchemy of Desire, was hailed by the Sunday Times as “an impressive and memorable debut”, and by Le Figaro as a “masterpiece”. Tarun’s second novel, The Story of My Assassins has been published in 2009 to rave reviews.|
|Urvashi Butalia is a writer and publisher. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, she is now Director of Zubaan, an imprint of Kali. She has written and published widely, and her best known work is the award winning oral history of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. She is currently working on several different books: a Reader on India’s history, culture and politics, a family memoir about Partition and a book on sexuality and citizenship as seen through the life of a eunuch.|
|Reba Som is a doctorate from Calcutta University and currently the Director of ICCR Kolkata. Her publications include Gandhi, Nehru and Bose: The Making of the Modern Indian Mind, and Rabindranath Tagore: The Singer and his Song. A trained singer of Rabindrasangeet, Reba Som’s compact disc, Selected Songs of Rabindranath Tagore (Saregama) includes her English translations of Tagore’s lyrics.|
|Israeli writer and book editor Zeruya Shalev was born on Kibbutz Kinneret. Shalev has published four novels, a book of poetry and a children`s book. Her novels Love Life, Husband and Wife and Late Family have received critical acclaim both in Israel and abroad and have been bestsellers in several countries. Love Life is included in the German newspaper Der Spiegel`s prestigious list of "20 Best Novels in World Literature" over the last 40 years. Her other titles include: Dancing, Standing Still and Mama's Best Boy.|
10:00 - 11:00: India Through Various Voices : Readings
11:00 -12:00: Poetry Panel Discussion: Reba Som, Prof. David Shulman & Miron C. Izakson
12:00 - 13:00: The Role of Writers and Journalists in Modern Democracies: Abraham B. Yehoshua & Tarun Tejpal
14:00 -15:00 - Sexuality in Literature: Zeruya Shalev & Namita Gokhale
15:30-16:30: Identity and Migration through Fiction: Eli Amir & Navtej Sarna
16:30-17:30: Building Bridges between Cultures through Litrature: Meir Shalev & Urvashi Butalia