Paris Center Hosts Second World Writers’ Festival Sept. 17 to 21

September 05, 2014

The World Writers’ Festival: Writers of India will celebrate Indian literature and culture in an exciting five-day program that begins September 17 and includes readings, panel discussions, one-on-one conversations, film screenings, a musical concert, and an art installation.

The second year of the festival follows the enormous success of the inaugural edition held at venues across Paris last September, which featured 30 of the world’s leading writers, including Columbia Professor Richard Ford, Salman Rushdie, John Banville and Ma Jian.

The 2014 edition is dedicated to writers from India. During five days, at 20 panel discussions, readings, and performances at venues such as Reid Hall – the site of the Columbia Global Centers | Europe – la Bibliothèque nationale de France, la Maison de la Poésie and the prestigious École Normale Supérieure.

“The extraordinary quality and quantity of Indian fiction today is one of the most remarkable events in contemporary literary culture,” said Paul LeClerc, director of the Paris Center.

The public will have the privilege of hearing some of the great voices of Indian literature including Vikram Chandra and Man Booker Prize Laureate, Kiran Desai (a 1999 graduate of Columbia’s School of the Arts), Jeet Thayil, Akhil Sharma, Amit Chaudhuri, and Tamil poet, Salma, among others. Columbia University will be well represented at the festival as well, with professors Akeel Bilgrami, Gayatri Spivak and Vishakha Desai in several sessions.

“The advantage of having one of the world's greatest universities do something like this,” LeClerc said, “is that it can demonstrate, in a new and very public way its creativity, its convening power, and its commitment to bring the highest levels of artistry from around the world to students, faculty, alumni and a very broad public.”

This year’s festival also features a new initiative: an intercultural dialogue between five students from Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia University and five emerging writers from India selected from a competition of some 700 applicants run by the Festival’s media partner in India, The Caravan magazine, a publication founded and edited by Columbia alumni.

This year’s celebration of Indian Literature also features a visual arts component. The Center will host the works of Indian and India-inspired artists for the exhibition entitled Indian Aurora, curated by Caitlin Elizabeth Boucher, an alumna of Reid Hall and Barnard College.

Bestselling author, Amit Chaudhuri will be performing with his band for a musical interlude entitled This is Not Fusion and finally, there will be a screening of the documentary Salma, and a discussion with the film’s subject, the extraordinary Tamil poet, Salma. The ever-popular Translation Slam returns to La Maison de la Poésie.

For more information please visit the festival website at