Five Writing Program Students Featured in the Festival des Écrivains du Monde 2014 | Writers of India, September 17-21 | Paris, France

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This September marks the second year that Columbia Global Centers | Europe in Paris and the Bibliothèque nationale de France have partnered on the Festival des Écrivains du Monde, a celebration of global literature. The first edition of the Festival took place in Paris and Lyon in September 2013, and featured 28 writers from 17 countries, including Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program faculty Richard Ford and Deborah Eisenberg. This year, the Festival will concentrate exclusively on literature of a single national origin: India.
Festival des Écrivains du Monde 2014 | Writers of India – produced with support from the Columbia Global Center in Mumbai and the Indian Embassy in Paris – celebrates the remarkable literary tradition of India and the global Indian diaspora, and the significant contributions that contemporary Indian writers are making to world culture. Leading Indian writers participating in the Festival include Urvashi Butalia, Vikram Chandra, Amit Chaudhuri, Uday Prakash, Salma, Sudeep Sen, Akhil Sharma, Geetanjali Shree, Indra Sina, Shumona Sinha, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Jeet Thayil, and Writing Program alumna Kiran Desai (’99).
This year the Festival des Écrivains du Monde has announced a new initiative that will bring five Writing Program students to Paris to participate in programs with five emerging writers from India. The Indian writers were selected in a competition hosted by Caravan magazine, to which there were some 700 entries. This new facet of the Festival is intended to foster important cross-cultural dialogue and bonds between emerging writers from the United States and India, and to offer them the opportunity to engage in an intellectual exchange that will be transformative in their creative and professional lives.
On Friday, September 19, these ten young writers will participate in a public panel alongside Festival guests who have already made their name on the world’s literary stage: Sudeep Sen, Jeet Thayil, Geetanjali Shree and Vikram Chandra. Each of the emerging writers will read briefly from his/her work before joining the Festival authors for a discussion about the writer’s life and the ever-changing place and role of the writer in society. The panel will be moderated by Caravan editor Supriya Nair and Susan Bernofsky, Director of the Writing Program’s literary translation program.
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A Writer's Path
Fri, Sept 19, 11:30 – 13:00
Columbia Global Centers | Europe
Reid Hall
4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris

Participants from the Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program
Olutoyin Adeyemi is an MFA candidate in Fiction. In 2013, with peers in the Film Program, she co-produced an immersive storyworld (My Sky Is Falling), which premiered at the United Nations’ Envision Film Festival. Magpie Stories, a transmedia production company co-founded by Olutoyin, was inspired by the Envision experience. Among her topical interests as a writer and creative producer are the concepts of language as an instrument of power, and cultural hybridity. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Elina Mishuris is an MFA candidate in Fiction and an instructor in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program. She writes about film for The L Magazine.

Syed Irfan Muzammil is an MFA candidate in Fiction. He has worked as a reporter in Pakistan. He is currently finishing his first book of short stories.

Margrét Ann Thors is an MFA candidate in Fiction who holds a BA from Barnard College and an MA from Teachers College. She teaches in Columbia’s Undergraduate Creative Writing Program and University of Connecticut’s English Program. Currently she is at work on her first novel, How Iceland Cured Cancer—Or, No-Man’s Saga.

Sukriti Yadava is an MFA candidate in Nonfiction, and was Publisher of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She has written for Apogee Journal and Vitamin W, and read at the Our Word reading series, Columbia's "Gallery" and Sarah Lawrence's "6 X 6." Sukriti previously studied at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai, and at the London School of Economics. She is writing a series of humorous personal essays about studying and living in Mumbai, London and New York City.

Participants from India
Dharini Bhaskar learnt to fish for stories by the sea in Bombay. Years later, she moved to Yorkshire to earn a Master’s in Twentieth Century Literature from the University of Leeds, and another Master’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Sheffield, following which she lived in London. She built a temporary home for herself on the tiny island of Paros in Greece, as a student of the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts; here, she pursued creative writing, painting, art history and Greek literature. Dharini now resides in Delhi, where she edits, writes and reads. She divides her time between Bombay, where her family lives, the capital, and the Dhauladhar mountains up north. Her debut work of fiction, The Earth’s Been Well Thumbed, and her second manuscript in progress, These, Our Bodies Possessed by Light are being represented by Jessica Woollard, Marsh Agency.

Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. He is currently working on his first poetry book manuscript Night Charge Extra. He finished his PhD at SOAS, London and currently teaches literature in Delhi. He translates between Hindi and English and has translated the works of poets such as Emily Dickinson, Mir Taqi Mir, Jackie Kay, Mangalesh Dabral, Wislawa Szymborska and Agha Shahid Ali.

Nandini Krishnan is a writer, stage actor, stand-up comedienne and dancer. Her first book, a work of nonfiction, Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage, was published in 2013 by Random House. Her play, Service before Self, was staged by The Madras Players under the title Honour at The Museum Theatre in Madras, in June 2014. Several of her plays have been shortlisted and long-listed for The Hindu Metro Plus Playwright Award. She was recently selected for the Writers’ Bloc workshop, conducted by The Royal Court Theatre, London, in association with Rage Productions, Bombay. She is currently working on her first novel, The Zebra Riddle.

Amrita Mahale was born in Bombay and studied aerospace engineering at IIT Bombay and Stanford University. She currently lives in New Delhi and is working on her first novel.

Aditi Rao is a writer, educator and dreamer. Passionate about peace education, she has worked extensively in the youth development and social change arenas, particularly in examining the role of the arts in education for social justice. Her poetry has appeared in The Four Quarters Magazine,Muse India,Cha: An Asian Literary journal,qarrsiluni,Vayavya, and other online journals, and her first full-length collection of poetry will be released later this year. Aditi won the 2011 Srinivas Rayaprol Prize for Poetry and the 2013 Toto Funds the Arts Creative Writing in English Award.
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