Published: 19th November 2019
Penguin's Classics Festival is back. Book lovers, what are you waiting for?
Celebrate the classics with Penguin Random House India through their month-long Penguin Classics Festival being held across eight cities of the country
There's no greater comfort than curling up with a classic. Which is why you're going to love this. The Penguin Classics Festival: There is One For Everyone is happening this November. Through this annual festival organised by publishers Penguin Random House India, being held across eight cities in India like Chennai, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, you can choose from one of the largest selections for both adult and young readers. Think of it as a celebration of the classics.
Books and beyond
Set up at select chain book stores and independent book houses, the books on display will be from Penguin US Black Classics, Penguin UK Black Classics, Penguin Modern Classics, Penguin Indian Classics, Vintage Classics and a selection of Premium Classics. Along with a wide selection, expect good offers, merchandise and more. You could also participate in the ongoing Penguin Classics Essay Contest to win attractive cash prizes and certificates. Elda Rotor, Vice President and Publisher of Penguin Classics, US will select the winners who will be announced in December.
Talking about the books one needs to pick up if they want to understand American classics, Rotor says, "For classics such as America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan, East Goes West by Younghill Kang and The Hanging on Union Square by HT Tsiang, the reader will see various perspectives on the American dream, the exploration of identity and the struggle for acceptance. The Stonewall Reader and The Women’s Suffrage Movement reflect diverse accounts of protest, resistance, and meditations on the importance of individual rights to live freely and to be represented fairly." In the same vein, talking about classics by women and what is unique about their new editions, she says, "We have new editions of The Awakening and The Yellow Wall-Paper in the series with compelling new introductions by Claire Vaye Watkins and Kate Bolick that explore the struggle for women to have power over their own lives and bodies."
Elda Rotor, Vice President and Publisher of Penguin Classics, US | (Pic: Penguin Random House India)
Though it's a cliche question, we couldn't help, but ask Rotor if she thinks that children are reading less than they used to, she says she doesn't think so. What they do is read different formats like graphic novels and much more. "I think we should welcome any format of storytelling that children are curious about, inevitably, they will find their way to a classic," she opines.
What else can we expect from Penguin in the near future? Come Spring 2020 and Penguin will launch their new hardcover series Penguin Vitae. Loosely translated, it means 'Penguin of one’s life'. "With this series we are asking our readers: If you were to put the books that have been pivotal to different chapters of your life on a shelf, what would they include? What books that are meaningful to you would you like to add to someone else’s bookshelf?" informs Rotor. The first book in the line-up will be Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde along with The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The Yellow-Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Passing by Nella Larsen and Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas. "We have forewords or introductions by writers who contribute thoughtful reflections on these classics and their literary or personal influence," she adds and concludes.
Speaking about the biggest takeaway for anyone dropping by the festival, Niti Kumar, Senior VP, Marketing, Penguin Random House India, says, "I am the mother of a teenager and I would want children his age to take away a sense of how far back the art of storytelling goes through these classics. These are the same stories many of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents too would’ve read and there are so many lessons hidden in their pages. The wide variety of books will make it easier for teens to find a book which suits their personal preferences and make reading a classics cool!"
Where you can catch the festival
New Delhi - Bahrisons, Khan Market and Saket
Gurugram - Bahrisons, Galleria
Mumbai - Kitab Khana, Fort
Bengaluru - Blossom Book House, MG Road
Kolkata - Starmark Bookstores, South City Mall
Chennai - Odyssey Bookstores, Adyar
Thiruvananthapuram - Modern Book Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Chandigarh - The Browser, Sector 8CHyderabad - A Mind’s Bookstore, Ramkote
For more information about the essay competition, click on penguinclassicsessay.paperform.co