Sunday, May 24, 2009

The island of the gods beckons again ...

2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

A FRAGMENT of wonderful news from Janet De Neefe, the festival director of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

The literary goddess of Ubud has announced a tentative line-up of some 70 writers, poets and artists from all corners of the world for 2009, including Adelaide-based Booker Prize-winner and Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace, Life & Times of Michael K); Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka (You Must Set Forth at Dawn), the first African to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature; Uwem Akpan (Say You’re One of Them); Vikas Swarup (Slumdog Millionaire, Six Suspects); Mexican author Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate); Hari Kunzru (My Revolutions, Transmission, The Impressionist); Mohammed Hanif (A Case of Exploding Mangoes); Ed Husain (The Islamist); Kate Grenville (The Lieutenant, The Secret River, The Idea of Perfection, Dark Places); Lloyd Jones (Mister Pip, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance); Wena Poon (Lions in Winter); Alice Pung (Unpolished Gem); Mo Zhi Hong (The Year of the Shanghai Shark); Antony Loewenstein (My Israel Question, The Blogging Revolution); literary agent extraordinaire David Godwin; Tash Aw (The Harmony Silk Factory, Map of the Invisible World); Rana Dasgupta (Tokyo Cancelled, Solo); Sonya Hartnett (Butterfly, Surrender, Thursday’s Child); Julia Leigh (The Disquiet, The Hunter); Alison Lester (Clive Eats Alligators, Tessa Snaps Snakes, Rosie Sips Spiders); and Tara June Winch (Swallow the Air).

Also appearing are Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Usha Akella, Asitha Ameresekere, Nigel Barley, Fatima Bhutto, Michelle Cahill, Tom Cho, Diana Darling, N.H. Dini, Gamal Al Ghitany, Riaz Hassan, Dany Laferriere, Lee Su Kim, Bejan Matur, James McBride, Mungo McCallum, Ng Yi-Sheng, John O’Sullivan, Omar Musa, W.S. Rendra, Thando Sibanda, Thant Myint-U, Jeet Thayil, Abdourahman Waberi, and others.

Now in its sixth year, the festival will run from October 7-11, 2009, with the theme Suka Duka: Compassion & Solidarity, an Indonesian philosophy that defines the essence of shared support that communities in Indonesia offer in times of joy and sorrow.


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