The 2017 Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival launches on Tuesday 9 May and runs until 26 May. Ahead of the opening, pre-festival events begin tonight with post events following in June. We’re thrilled to support for the fourth year the only UK Festival dedicated to pan-Asian writing. This year’s festival travels 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 pre-festival events kick off tonight at 6:45pm with The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. Join British-Egyptian poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz and prominent writers Leila Aboulela, Selma Dabbagh and Samira Shackle in a talk chaired by Arifa Akbar, which aims to change our perception of what it means to be a British Muslim woman in today’s world. Or travel across Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Kashmir tomorrow, 6:45pm with leading writers Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and Preti Taneja and translator Deborah Smith.
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. The Festival marks the 70th anniversary of the Partition between India and Pakistan with The Empire Writes Back on 10 May. Short-story writer, novelist 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 come together for a discussion on this critical fraction.
Other highlights during the festival include a talk on 11 May with best-selling Turkish author Elif Shafak who will bring to life the core teachings of 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi master Rumi. For the closing night on 26 May, join us as we delve into Pakistan’s past and present with one of the most talented writers of our time, Nadeem Aslam. A number of books will be launched at this year’s Festival including including the English translation of Ece Temelkuran’s hugely popular novel Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar or Women Who Blow on Knots, an empowering tale that challenges assumptions about politics, religion and Middle Eastern women; Zeina Hashem Beck’s new poetry book Louder than Hearts, described as a lens through which to see life in the Middle East; the English translation of Min Jin Lee’s book Pachinko which follows a Korean family through four generations. The novel will be launched at the Reflections on the East Asian 20th Century event on 23 May.
Joining Asia House post festival on 1 June will be author Michael Dobbs-Higginson, launching A Raindrop in the Ocean: The Life of a Global Traveller, who amongst other things is a Buddhist monk, a drug smuggler and Chairman of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific. Man Asian Literary prizewinner Miguel Syjuco also comes to Asia House’s central London headquarters on 6 June for an event chaired by Phillip Kim, the Managing Editor of Asia Literary Review which will shed light on both the past and the present of Manila.
The events will take place at the Asia House’s headquarters at: 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP.
Find out more about the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival and book your place for the events via: www.bagrifoundation.org/events/literaturefestival2017/