Literature lovers from around the world are coming together to honor Indian-Canadian author Rohinton Mistry at the 2012 Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture on September 25-29. Mistry is the 2012 Neustadt Laureate, who was chosen last year to receive this prestigious award, which is sometimes referred to as the "American Nobel".
The Neustadt Festival, which is co-sponsored by the University of Oklahoma, World Literature Today, and the Neustadt Family, is a celebration of literature and culture that takes place every two years at the University of Oklahoma. In the off year, a jury of twelve internationally-renowned authors get together on campus and nominate other authors to receive the prize, which consists of $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver, and a certificate.
This year's Festival will be an unprecedented celebration of Mistry's body of work in conjunction with Indian culture. Exciting collaborations between WLT, The School of Art, The OU India Student Association, and The School of Drama will make this a week to remember. On September 25, the Festival will kick off with dance performances and poetry readings at the Norman Depot.
The following day, CultureQuest: Escape to India will begin with special events geared toward kids. Norman Public Schools will bus in hundreds of elementary students for these events. Join festival-goers in the Oklahoma Memorial Ballroom for a dance performance by the OU India Student Association, followed by piano adaptations of Indian music performed by OU student Angela Marshall. Closing out the morning, listen to Clarke Stroud, Mike Hosty, and Molly Griffis read excerpts from some of the best in Indian children's fiction. Later that evening, Zoe Sherinian's documentary "This is A Music: Reclaiming an Untouchable Drum" will play in Pitman Hall.
On Thursday, don't miss the roundtable discussions in Meacham Auditorium. Leading scholars in the field will first discuss the social, historical, and political contexts of the India that Mistry grew up in, followed by a second panel who will talk about the literary and cultural contexts of Mistry's India. Between these two discussions, attendees can take a break and enjoy scenes from an adaptation of Mistry's novel A Fine Balance, presented by the OU School of Drama. Thursday night, a truly special event will feature The Sangeet Millennium Ensemble in a Masala World Music Concert.
All of the cultural events and discussions will lead into Friday's main event: Rohinton Mistry's Neustadt Prize Keynote. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear a prize-winning author candidly discuss his life, work, and culture.
For updates and Festival information, follow @worldlittoday on Twitter.
WLT on Facebook
Neustadt on Facebook
For a full schedule of events, see the Neustadt Festival Website.
Interested in becoming involved with WLT? Learn more about student internship opportunities.
Subscribe to World Literature Today.