Frédéric Beigbeder charms the crowd

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As part of Bonjour India 2017-18, the internationally acclaimed French writer and literary critic Frédéric Beigbeder participated in the eighth edition of Tata Literature Live! from Nov 16, 2017 to Nov 19, 2017 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Mumbai). Tata Literature Live! happens to be one of India’s most prestigious and well-attended literary festivals – this year’s edition saw nearly 150 thinkers, writers and performers from 17 countries. Frédéric Beigbeder was present at the event within the framework of Next Page which will bring some of France’s most innovative writers and thinkers to India’s largest literary platforms during the course of Bonjour India.

Frédéric Beigbeder

Frédéric Beigbeder

Over the years, Frédéric Beigbeder has acquired a cult status in the literary circuit. He published his first novel, Mémoires d’un Jeune Homme Dérangé, when he was 24. A stint in advertising resulted in his best-selling novel, 99 Francs. In 1994, he founded the Prix de Flore, which rewards young authors writing in French and also co-founded the Prix Sade. He was awarded the Prix Interallié for Windows on the World, which also won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (best foreign novel translated into English).  In 2009, he received the Prix Renaudot for Un Roman Français.

For Tata Literature Live!, Beigbeder participated in two events namely ‘Words of Inspiration’ on Nov 17 and ‘The Mystery of Salinger’ on Nov 18. For ‘Words of Inspiration’, he was part of a panel which also included Gary Shteyngart (award winning author and satirist), Margaret Drabble (D.B.E., novelist and critic), and Sergio Chejfec (Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, at New York University). The illustrious thinkers in the panel talked about the first spark of inspiration which led them to write.

The other session, ‘The Mystery of Salinger’, focused on the launch and discussion of the English translation of Beigbeder’s latest book Oona and Salinger. This work traces the stormy love story of Oona O’Neill (daughter of the Nobel Laureate Eugene O’Neill) and the writer Jerry Salinger (of Catcher in the Rye fame). Set in the backdrop of the Second World War, it delves into the psyches of these two characters and has been creating quite a buzz!

The students of Alliance Française de Bombay were delighted when the opportunity of interacting with Frédéric Beigbeder presented itself. On Nov 17, he visited Theosophy Hall for a freewheeling Q&A session. Beigbeder was accompanied by Joëlle Jolivet, Karthika Nair, Roshni Vyam, and Sampurna Chattarji – a motley group of Indian and French artists, writers, and illustrators who were participating in Tata Literature Live! as part of The Other City (also within the framework of Bonjour India 2017-18).

The students of AF Bombay with Frédéric Beigbeder, Joëlle Jolivet, Karthika Nair, Roshni Vyam, and Sampurna Chattarji

Some students of AF Bombay with Frédéric Beigbeder, Joëlle Jolivet, Karthika Nair, Roshni Vyam, and Sampurna Chattarji

This group is currently working on Metro Lands – a project created by the poets Sampurna Chatterji and Karthika Nair who are currently exploring collaborative writing through the prism of two rail networks – the Metro of Paris and the Suburban Railway for Mumbai. The work is illustrated by renowned French illustrator Joëlle Jolivet (who will flesh out Sampurna’s vision of the Mumbai Suburban Railway) and the Gond artist Roshni Vyam (who will bring to life Karthika’s Parisian metro). This book, to be published by Westland, will look at rail networks as shared spaces that transcend easy clichés about both cities. All in all, a heady cocktail of ideas and literary celebrities which left the denizens of Mumbai asking for more!

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...