Nobel Prize winning litterateur VS Naipaul is coming to Bangladesh to attend the Dhaka Literary Festival that will be held at the Bangla Academy on November 17-19.
“VS Naipaul is the first Nobel laureate in literature coming to Bangladesh. He will be inaugurating the festival,” said K Anis Ahmed, a director of the festival.
The sixth edition of the festival will also feature great writers – Sir Vidia, Pulitzer Prize winner American-Indian poet Vijay Seshadri, 2016 Man Booker Prize winner Deborah Smith and winner of 2014 European Union Prize for Literature Evie Wyld.
Over 200 talents and more than 60 guests of literary world from 18 countries across the globe will be attending the event that will be inaugurated at 11:00am on Thursday, Anis Ahmed said.
“The main objective of the festival is to introduce Bangla literature and culture to the world as well as world literature to Bangladesh,” he told a press conference at the Bangla Academy today.
It will be a fiesta for those interested in literature as well as the eminent writers and journalists from various countries, he added.
There will be some 100 panels during the three-day event that will also feature cultural programme, folk performances, poetry recitations, an editing workshop, children’s programme and film screenings.
“We will pay tribute to eminent Bangladeshi novelist late Syed Shamsul Haq with a stage enactment in English of his short novel Neel Dongshon,” Anis Ahmed said.
A young writer and an established writer will also be awarded for their works in the Dhaka Literary Festival, he said.
Festival director Sadaf Saaz said there were security concerns among many, especially after the militant attack on Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, and it was very important to reaffirm Bangladesh’s harmonious cultural tradition to the world.
The festival will feature Bangladesh’s traditional musical programme -- Jaarigan, Behula Lokhindar, Pala Gaan -- to highlight the country’s rich culture and history, she said.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan said the festival for the last several years has been very important in introducing Bangladesh’s literature to the world stage, and expected that it will continue to do so in the days to come.
Brac and Brac International’s Senior Director Asif Saleh said youths are now a priority age group for the country as well as for the world.
“The young writers need to be more exposed to the world stage. We are trying to do it,” he said.
The organizers said entry to the festival will require no ticket, but registration. Visitors can register online at the www.dhakalitfest.com or at the entrance. They can also get the detail programme schedule online.
The festival is being produced by Jatrik, with Bangla Academy as the co-host and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as Special Partner. Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune are the title sponsors of the event, with BRAC as platinum sponsor. British Council, Energis and Purnava are gold sponsors.
Festival director Ahsan Akbar, Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan were present.