Guess who is the hottest-selling author at the ongoing Kolkata Book Fair? Not Chetan Bhagat or Vikram Seth, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Sales figures at the annual book fair, deemed one of the largest in the world, demonstrate that Mamata has emerged quite a literary sensation.
“The response has been overwhelming for us. We are already running out of stock,” Sudhangshu Dey of Deys’ Publishing said.
Publishing her books since 1995, he said that thousands of copies of her books have been sold since the last five days.
Last year, books worth Rs 10 lakh authored by Banerjee were sold ,earning her a cool Rs one lakh in royalty.
“The sales of her books had equalled popular Bengali authors like Mani Shankar Mukherjee and Buddhadeb Guha last year. The sales are even better this time with the rise in her popularity graph,” the publisher said.
A regular writer and a poet besides being a feisty politician, Banerjee has so far written around 33 books, three of which were released last week during the inauguration of the fair.
Bibliophiles have queued up at many stalls including her party Trinamool Congress’ stall ‘Jago Bangla’ to read her works.
In spite of her very busy work schedule, Banerjee has made it a point to release her books at every edition of the book fair for the last few years. Her latest releases include ‘Poribortan’ (Change), ‘Kobita’ (Poems) and ‘My Unforgettable Memories’.
Written in Bengali, the photobook ‘Poribortan’ chronicles Banerjee’s meteoric rise from a grassroot level worker to the highest echelons of power in West Bengal.
‘Kobita’, on the other hand, is a collection of around 60-70 poems that catches the firebrand leader in a melancholy mood as she writes about the inevitable death.
Both the books are brought out by Deys’ Publishing while ‘My Unforgettable Memories’ is by Roli Books.
Last year she had come up with a collection of 31 poems in the book ‘Netai’, inspired by the killings of nine unarmed villagers at Netai village of West Midnapore district.
Human suffering, human rights violations, political protests and statements have always been common ingredients of her poetry.
‘Maa’, a book of poems, and ‘Pallabi’, a book of long stories, by her have gone on to receive critical acclaim from the literary world as well.
Two of her rhyme books ‘Shishu Shathi’ and ‘Ajab Chhora’ have been a huge hit among children.
‘Upalabdhi’ (Achievement), a collection of political essays, remains her top-selling title, publishers said.