We’re thrilled to support the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival for a fourth year; the only UK Festival dedicated to pan-Asian writing. This year’s Festival, running from Tuesday 9 May until Friday 26 May offers a fascinating exchange between East and West, offering writing from and about Asia. Now its in 11th year, within its central London headquarters, Asia House will take you from Syria to the Philippines, from China to Iran, examining the human psyche, long-forgotten pasts, tackling topical subjects from migration to issues of identity. The packed programme includes talks from a journalist living on the edge, an author credited with being the woman who reintroduced hard core sexuality into Bengali literature, and an investigative journalist covering North Korea.
A number of pre-festival events, taking place throughout April and May, include The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write with Sabrina Mahfouz, Leila Aboulela, Selma Dabbagh and Samira Shackle which aims to change our perception of what it means to be a British Muslim woman in today’s world. Post-events, following in June, include a talk with Man Asian Literary prizewinner Miguel Syjuco who sheds light on both the past and the present of Manila.
The Festival opens 9 May with Christina Lamb OBE, one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and bestselling authors as she discusses what life is really like reporting from the front line in the Middle East. Highlights during the festival include a talk on 11 May with best-selling Turkish author Elif Shafak as she brings to life the core teachings of 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi master Rumi in her book The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi. The Festival will mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India into India and Pakistan with short-story writer and editor of Kahani: Short Stories by Pakistani Women Aamer Hussein, author of Black Taj Mohini Kent; and author of Where the River Parts Radhika Swarup. A number of books will be launched at this year’s Festival including Women Who Blow on Knots and the English translation of Min Jin Lee’s book Pachinko.
We are delighted to support the Festival again this year to raise understanding and engagement in cultures across the region of Asia; through our support, we hope to broaden young minds and inspire new audiences with the best emerging writing from this rich continent.