ABSU: Inauguration of Literary Festival at Oxford Bookstore, The Bengali Little Magazine Corner


Kolkata, November 25, 2022: Today, linguist, literary critic, academician, and actor Pabitra Sarkar inaugurated the eighth iteration of the Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob (ABSU), the first Bengali literary festival in India organized by the Bookstore.

With consideration for its widespread popularity, ABSU (Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob) 2022 will be broadcasted LIVE on the official Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob Facebook Page and YouTube channel on November 25, 26, and 27. This would enable Bengali literature lovers from around the world to fully engage in this literary and cultural feast that transcends space and time.

Pabitra Sarkar, while inaugurating the eighth edition of ABSU said, “The Oxford Bookstore has launched a fantastic initiative. Once upon a time, there were some stalls on the streets of Kolkata selling Bengali Little Magazines. They are becoming extinct. There can be no better news for the Bengali Little Magazine segment than the Oxford Bookstore dedicating a space to them. Little magazines have a dedicated readership: the literature they publish is distinctive and not typically found in popular culture This initiative will do this little magazine community, its authors, and its readers a world of good.”

The sixth edition of ABSU was performed virtually due to COVID, while the seventh edition of ABSU was hybrid in nature. Unlike the first two days, which were conducted online, the last day of the event was held in person. This year, ABSU has returned to the scene.

The launch of Bengali Little Magazine Corner at the iconic Oxford Bookstore on Park Street was announced during the inauguration of the eighth edition of ABSU to commemorate the Oxford Bookstore’s centennial celebration. There are approximately 2000 little magazines published in Bengali throughout India. Oxford Bookstore’s online store is also considering selling these Bengali Little Magazines online in order to reach a wider audience. It will be a free platform with a modest revenue-sharing model. Over the years, the Bengali Little Magazine segment has been struggling for the absence of a wider platform to display its extensive body of written work.

“The goal of ABSU is to introduce Bengali literature to a global audience. And, despite producing excellent literary work, Bengali Little magazines have struggled to reach a wider audience. This is part of our effort as a 100 year to promote Bengali literature all over the world,” said Swagat Sengupta, ABSU Director, and CEO, of Oxford Bookstores.

Pabitra Sarkar, Himadrikishore Dasgupta, Ashoke Viswanathan, Anik Dutta, Samik Bandyopadhyay, Abul Bashar, Rupam Islam, Sujog Bandyopadhyay, Binod Ghosal, Kheyali Dastidar, Rahul Sanerjee Arunoday, Biswanath Basu, Jayanta Ghosal, Snehasis Sur, Under the direction of former radio host Roy Choudhury and on the advice of Himadrikishore Dasgupta, this varied collection has been curated.

“We are also keeping in mind the case of access, active participation, flexibility of viewing the sessions at convenience and interacting with the delegates at the same time through social media LIVE streaming”, Swagat Sengupta, ABSU Director and CEO of Oxford Bookstores added.

What is ABSU?

The century-old Oxford Bookstores founded ABSU, India’s first Bangla Literary Festival, in 2015 to honour the vibrant literary heritage of the Bangla language. The goal of ABSU, a cherished project of Oxford Bookstores, is to increase the visibility and accessibility of Bangla literature, develop a market for Bangla books, foster a culture of reading among young people, and familiarize them with the Bangla language. The ABSU promotes all of Bangla literature and literary expression as well as its influence on many creative forms. It is an interactive forum that brings together voices of modern Bangla literature from the national and international arena. The last three years, the festival has included notable individuals thanks to ABSU’s dedication to the exciting and thrilling journey of Bangla Literature.

About Oxford Bookstores:

Established in 1919, Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped ‘base-camp’ for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century.  Today, with stores in major metros, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word. Oxford Bookstore measures its success by the smiles on millions of happy customers that the brand has served over the last 100 years. There are a few treats as sumptuous as a visit to Oxford Bookstore in India. Each time you walk into our iconic store in Kolkata where the brand started in 1919, its charm leaves you wanting for more. Our fleet of happy to help expert booksellers and informed hosts work day and night to bring to customers world class reading experience be it through our books or our fine teas and live by the brand’s motto – Much more than a bookstore – at every Bookstore.

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