Crime Writers' Association of South Asia launched at the Zee Jaipur Lit Fest

Monday, 20 January 2014 - 4:00pm IST Updated: Monday, 20 January 2014 - 8:20pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
On Monday, the fourth day of the Zee Jaipur Lit Fest, Namita Gokhale, Jorn Lier Horst, Kishwar Desai, Margit Walso, Somnath Batabyal and Gautam Chakrabarti launched the Crime Writers' Association of South Asia.

Namita opened the session, by announcing that the Crime and Punishment theme of the festival which included issues like accountability, culpability, analysing who a criminal is and what the ramifications of a crime are, had been very successful which ultimately helped in launching the association.

She went to say that the 'Bangla Whodunnit', 'Prisoners of the Mind' and all the other sessions exposed important issues and highlights a great tradition across India and all these issues and more would be consolidated by the Crime Writers' Association. She quoted from her last session, "Somebody said there's going to be a wave of crime writing, and I said a wave of crime writing is better than a crime wave."

Namita and Desai go on to express their excitement about the association explaining that it will work as a platform for writers involved with fiction, non-fiction,  television, and others and connects them with publishers and agents. Also mentioning that they are working towards a festival in Delhi which would happen around September within which there would be a weekend celebrating crime writing all around the world. Namita does stress that anyone who wants to become a member can do so online through an easy registration process.

She then passed on the mike to Norwegian crime writer Jørn Lier Horst and Magrit Walso the director of Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) to speak about their thoughts on the association. Walso started off by congratulating everyone involved with the association and expressed the hope that it will be a new platform for crime writers all over the world. She mentions that she would love to see more Norwegian crime fiction translated into India, and would love to see Indian crime writers in Norway as well. She ended by saying, "From my point of view, the promotion of Norwegian crime literature is very important". Jørn Lier Horst, a former inspector and prolific crime writer also expresses his enthusiasm for what the association could accomplish.

Gautam Chakrabarti, who has been studying detective fiction for a long time explained, what is interesting about Nordic crime writing is it uncovers that Nordic societies aren’t just the monolithic, homogeneous, peaceful, lovely places they are perceived to be but they express how it is full of complex possibilities and counter-possibilities.

He went on to say, "A wave of crime writing should unleash in India a counter-wave to the crime that happens in this country." He also said he would like to see how this association can look at India's socio-economic perspective and how it would influence crime writing.

The launch ended with a ‘Q and A’ where Namita Gokhale and the rest of the panel answered questions related to the association. Namita also suggested that people look up the association on the website, www.crimewritersassociationsouthasia.org which would have a basic understanding of the association as well as upcoming events, workshops and sessions.


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