The 30th Sharjah International Book Fair's country of honour is India, home to some of the most exciting and dynamic world writers working today. Sharjah International Book Fair is therefore delighted to welcome eight such writers as special guests.
Vayalar Ravi is a prominent Indian politician, currently the Union Cabinet Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Minister of Civil Aviation. He is a member of the Rajya Sabha. Ravi was the Founder President of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), the students' wing of Indian National Congress in Kerala. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1982, and he served as Home Minister of Kerala from 1982 to 1986. Ravi was re-elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1987, serving until 1991. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 1994 and again in April 2003. He became Union Cabinet Minister for Overseas Affairs on January 30, 2006. A postgraduate and a bachelor of law, Ravi is an
excellent orator, and a prolific writer.
Shobhaa De is a columnist and novelist from Mumbai, India. Shobhaa has founded and edited three magazines and wrote for the Times of India. At present, she is a freelance
writer and columnist for several newspapers and magazines, and also works as a broadcaster and script writer. Shobhaa De is one of India's top best-selling authors: Spouse - The Truth About Marriage examines the urban institution of marriage and sold 20,000 copies on the day of its official launch in Delhi. She is credited with having given birth to "Hinglish," a heady, irreverent mix of Hindi and English. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Polish and Korean at present. She is listed as one of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in India" published by the DNA Newspaper, March 2010. Her latest book is titled Shobhaa at Sixty and was published by Hay House in 2010.
M T Vasudevan Nair popularly known as MT, is a renowned Indian author, screenplay writer and film director. He is one of the most prolific and versatile writers in modern Malayalam literature, and has been awarded the highest literary award in India Jnanpith for his work Randamoozham (Second Turn). His novels, short stories and screenplays speak of the anguish of the Kerala society in the post independence India, and his cinematographic work focus on rural south Indian society. M. T. Vasudevan Nair is considered the principal chronicler of the breakdown of the family system. Nair depicts the correlation between conditions of society and the anxieties and emotional involvements of his characters.
M J Akbar is a leading Indian journalist and author. He is Editorial Director of India Today, India's leading weekly English news magazine, and oversees the English news channel Headlines Today. He is also the founder and former editor-in-chief and managing director of The Sunday Guardian, a weekly newspaper, and The Asian Age, a daily multi-edition Indian newspaper with a global perspective. He has written several non-fiction books, including Byline, a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir titled Kashmir: Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within. He also authored The Shade of Swords, a cohesive history of jihad. Akbar's most
recently published book is Blood Brothers, a family saga covering three generations and exploring changing Hindu-Muslim relations.
Shashi Tharoor is a United Nations peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist, internationally respected orator, a former Minister of State for External Affairs and an elected member of the Indian Parliament. He is also the award-winning author of twelve books, as well as many articles in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek and The Times of India. He has written seven non-fiction books, a collection of literary essays, and an essay collection about contemporary India. His three novels are the classic The Great Indian Novel which is required reading in several courses on post-colonial literature; Riot, an examination of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India, and Show Business which has since been made into a film. He has also authored a collection of short stories.
Ruskin Bond is known as the Indian 'William Wordsworth'. Born to a first generation British migrant, Bond spent most of his childhood amidst the Himalayas. He wrote his first novel named Room On The Roof'when he was 17 years old, winning the prestigious 'John Llewellyn Rhys' Prize. Replete with unassuming humour and quiet wisdom, his stories manifest a deep love for nature and people. He has written over a hundred short stories,
essays, novels, and more than thirty books of children. The Flight of Pigeons has been adapted into the acclaimed Merchant Ivory film Junoon. The Room on the Roof has been adapted in to a TV series. His greatest achievement is that several of his short stories
have been incorporated in the school curriculum all over India. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in 1992. He has also been conferred with Padma Shri, one of the most prestigious civil awards in India.
Jaishree Misra is an Indian author whose debut novel Ancient Promiseswas published and sold worldwide by Penguin UK and became a major bestseller in India. Subsequent books include Accidents Like Love and Marriage, Afterwards and The Little Book of Romance. Jaishree Misra has an MA in English Literature from Kerala University and two
post-graduate diplomas from the University of London, the first in Special Education and the second in Broadcast Journalism. Misra now lives in New Delhi, India. She has taken part in the Jaipur Literature Festival, the Daily Telegraph Hay-on-Wye Festival, the Week Hay Festival in Kerala, the Kovalam Literature Festival, Words on Water in Johannesburg, South Africa and Kitaab. Jaishree Misra is the great-niece of the late Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai,
famous Malayalam writer and Jnanpith awardee.
M Mukundan is one of the pioneers of modernity in Malayalam literature and is known in Kerala as ‘The storyteller of Mayyazhi'. He served as the president of Kerala Sahitya Akademi from October 2006 until March 2010. Mukundan has published 12 novels and ten collections of short stories. Daivathinte Vikrithikal bagged the Kendra Sahithya
Academy award and NV Prize, and has been translated into English and published By Penguin Books India. In 2008, Mukundan's magnum opus Mayyazhi Puzhayude Theerangalil fetched him the award for the best novel published in the last 25 years. Three of his novels were made into feature films in Malayalam. Mukundan's latest novel is Pravasam and tells the story of a Malayali whose journeys carry him around the world. In 1998 the French government conferred on him the title of Chevalier des Arts for his contribution to literature.