THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The intolerance towards freedom of expression is a major issue being faced by the world. The intolerance is prevalent in Ukraine too as the radicals are attempting to censor the creative freedom, said Andrey Kurkov, a Ukrainian novelist and an independent thinker who writes in Russian. He was in the capital to attend a private event.
Kurkov visited Kerala for the second time and he appreciated the people of the state for their unity in fighting the floods which hit the state last year. “We should appreciate the efforts of people of Kerala. We can’t see that kind of togetherness when a disaster occurs. In fact, the people have set an example to the rest of the world for rebuilding the state,” he said.
Kurkov also raised apprehension about political unrest in Ukraine as the country is going to witness a presidential election this year. He penned critically acclaimed, popular and absurdist novels including ‘Death and the Penguin’, ‘The President’s Last Love’, ‘The Milkman of the Night’, ‘The Bickford Fuse’. ‘Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev,’ is a first-hand account of the Maidan protests.
He has published 23 novels, which have been translated into 37 languages, 10 books for children, 10 film scripts, and 2 non-fiction books, the latest published in 2018 is on helping the homeless around the world. The latest - ‘Grey Bees’ - is about the situation in Donbass grey zone and in annexed Crimea. The novel has been adapted for theatre and will premiere in Kiev in March 2019.
‘Vastness of India attracted me’ - Francesca Melandri
Popular Italian writer and documentary filmmaker Francesca Melandri said her tryst with India began in 1989 when she visited the country for the first time. She was in the city to attend a private function. “India is rich in its vastness and diverse culture,” she said.
Melandri said the history of her country remained a major topic for her books and documentary subjects.
After a long and successful screenwriting career, her literary debut was in 2010 with ‘Eva Sleeps’, a critically acclaimed bestseller translated in most European languages. Her second novel ‘Higher than the sea’ confirmed her standing among readers and literary critics.
Both novels have been awarded several prizes, both in Italy and Europe. Her last novel ‘Sangue Giusto/The rightful blood’ has been nominated for the prestigious Premio Strega. She is also an award-winning docu-maker. She has made innumerable trips to India and it was her second visit to Kerala.