Roundtable Poster

About the authors and the discussion on cities

Anu Majumdar has lived the Auroville experiment for over thirty six years, working at Matrimandir and as a dancer-choreographer with the Auroville Dance Lab for sixteen years before books took over. These include: Refugees from Paradise & God Enchanter (fiction); Island of Infinity and Infinity Papers (YA); Mobile Hour & Light Matter (poetry). She has contributed short stories, articles and poetry in Prairie Schooner, The Punch Magazine, Open Road Review, Verve India, Arts Illustrated, The Hindu and Scroll among others. Auroville: A City for the Future, is her latest book which has also featured as a TEDx talk.

Nirmala Lakshman founded The Hindu Lit for Life literature festival and now curates it. After nine years it brings 40,000 people together over three days annually, to celebrate words, ideas and some beautiful books!  She has been an editor and author, and during long innings at The Hindu, has created and put together many supplements including the Literary Review and Young World India’s first newspaper supplement for children, among other editorial and journalistic endeavours. Her writing has been reproduced in several critical literary anthologies. She grew up in Chennai, loves the city and writes about it in Degree Coffee By The Yard. Her first book is an anthology of Indian journalism, Writing A Nation, and brings together what she perceives as being among the finest journalistic writing in post Independence India. She is now working on a book about the Tamils.

To coincide with the Seoul Olympic Games the Korean government conducted the Seoul Poetry Olympiad. In the anthology of prize-winning poems, ‘World Poetry – 1988’ only five poems represented India and one was of Dr. P. Raja, a Professor of English Literature in Pondicherry. A son of the soil, P. Raja writes in his chosen language, English, and also in his mother tongue, Tamil. More than 5000 of his works – poems, short stories, interviews, articles, book reviews, plays, skits, features and novellas – have been published in newspapers and magazines and he has authored 35 books for adults and 8 books for children in English and 14 books in Tamil. He also edited TRANSFIRE, an English quarterly devoted to translations of various Indian and foreign languages into English.

Aditi Sriram teaches Critical Thinking and Creative Writing at Ashoka University in Delhi. She has written for several international publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Atlantic. Before living in Delhi, she lived in New York City for 14 years; and before becoming a writer, she was a financial consultant. Aditi is thrilled that her first book, Beyond the Boulevards, which was launched yesterday, pays homage to her extended family, whose roots are in Pondicherry. The book is part of a series of biographies of Indian cities by Aleph Book Company in Delhi.