Tuesday, January 30, 2007

KL International Literary Festival 2007-update

(Please wait for a moment for the video link to download). This page will be used for regular updates as we receive information. We will start with Malaysian writers.


Dina Zaman Book Launch - I am Muslim. Dina Zaman's articles about being a Muslim in Malaysia in Malaysiakini.com spoke for and captured the imagination of many who, though had similar views were, for various reasons, not able to articulate them. Dina Zaman's two session during the Literary Festival is going to be popular. And maybe controversial. Dina goes to places few have dared to venture. These sessions are not to be missed.

As Dina states in her introduction, I am Muslim is a selfish journey of faith. Dina meets shamans, nationalists, moderates and gets into all sorts of scrapes, to discover what Islam means to Muslims in Malaysia. Heartbreaking, angry and downright funny, expect I AM to be a rollickin’ read.

Watch Dina Zaman's recent interview with Al Jazeera here.

Tash Aw's writing workshops (perhaps that is not entirely correct ... call this a master class - read on).

Tash will be running two writing worshops. For his two sessions he proposes to do two workshops entitled 'Beginnings' and 'Endings'. These sessions will take the writing of beginnings and endings of novels as their starting point but will be much more wide-ranging than that, moving on the explore various (general) themes in novel-writing that may be of interest to the participants. The workshops will be TEXT-BASED, meaning that he will be using short extracts from famous novels as examples/starting points. These can be simple photocopied and distributed at the start of the sessions.

The workshops are open to anyone, though those with a lively interest in reading (ie those who are able to engage with prose) will benefit the most. The sesssions are meant to be interactive: he won't be 'telling' anything how to write.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival 2007

About the LitFest

The Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival 2007 (which was announced eons ago) is taking off. To date we have confirmation from several writers, which has been posted here.

The last time we had a Literary Festival in Kuala Lumpur was in 2004. We are (finally) holding one more again this year - our 50th year of Merdeka. The Festival proper will be on the 28th, 29th and 30th of March 2007. The theme for the event is 'The nation at 50.'

Events will include, book launches, discussions, meetings with writers, exhibitions and workshops - for adults and children. The detailed programme is still being worked out. Writers who have confirmed to date are Randa Abdel Fattah (Australia), Benjamin Zephaniah (Britain), Camilla Gibb (Canada), Eda Kriseova (Czech Rep), Goenawan Mohamad (Indonesia), Lakshmi Pamuntjak (Indonesia), Tsash Aw, Salleh ben Joned, Cecil Rajendra and Dina Zaman(Malaysia), Elizabeth Smither (New Zealand) and Sumithra Rahubaddhe of Sri Lanka.

One of the things we didn't like about the 2004 Literary Festival was the conference component. Many also thought that the cost of RM300.00 was too much, especially for students, who are one of our main target groups. What we liked about the Festival was the opportunity to mix and mingle with international writers. (Despite the cost we had over 250 fully paid delagates in 2007.)

This year we have decided not to hold the event in a hotel - which was the main reason for the high cost in 2004. And we will also not have the conference component. The 2007 KL Lit Fest will be held at various venues around Bangsar Baru, all within walking distance. Although there will be several events proceeding simultaneously, all participants will be given enough opportunities to meet all the writers. (If you miss one session, you can catch the next one.)

More details will be posted as they become available. But the most important part is where we bring the prices down.

Cost: (These are early-bird prices and are valid are until the 10th March 2007. Of course registration will be on first come first served basis.)

Normal adult: MYR100.00 (pass valid for three days for all events)
Students/teachers/writers: MYR50.00 ((pass valid for three days for all events)

More info: http://www.silverfishbooks.com/LitFest.htm