Kovalam Lit Fest to focus on non-fiction

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Kovalam Literary Festival, South India’s pioneering literary event, will focus on non-fiction writing at its 8th edition in Thiruvananthapuram on October 22.

“This year’s event will be a non-fiction special, with 26-year-old scholar Manu Pillai’s 700-page history of the Travancore Royal Family leading the list,” Binoo K. John, Founder-Director of the festival, told IANS.

“The festival has become an anticipated event in Trivandrum,” said John, who launched it in 2008. This year, the event is being held at the VJT Hall in the city.

The “Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore”, “swirls through Kerala history like a dervish, possessed by the intention of telling a magnificent story and telling it marvellously well”, according to one review.

At the festival, Pillai will be in conversation with novelist Shreekumar Varma, himself a member of the Travancore family.

Other writers in the list released today are Raghu Karnad, author of “The Farthest Field”, a World War I memoir; Rohini Mohan, author of the sensational, best-selling “Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka’s Civil War”; Bishwanath Ghosh, travel writer and author of “Chai Chai”; Lekshmy Rajeev, author of “Attukal Amma” on the famous Thiruvananthapuram temple.

The lead lecture will be by Magsaysay Award winner and Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna, who is also the author of “A Southern Music”.

Well-known novelist M. Mukundan will deliver a lecture on the future of the novel.