Curtain rises Nov 17 for Dhaka lit fest | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 14, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:49 AM, November 14, 2016

Curtain rises Nov 17 for Dhaka lit fest

VS Naipaul to inaugurate event

Nobel Prize winning litterateur VS Naipaul is coming to Bangladesh to attend the Dhaka Literary Festival, to be held at the Bangla Academy on November 17-19.

“VS Naipaul will inaugurate the festival,” said K Anis Ahmed, a director of the festival.

The sixth edition of the festival will also feature 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 the literary world from 18 countries will be attending the event, inaugurated at 11:00am Thursday, said Anis Ahmed.

“The main objective of the festival is to introduce Bangla literature and culture to the world and vice versa,” he told a press conference at the Bangla Academy yesterday. It will be a fiesta for those interested in literature, he added.

There will be some 100 panels during the three-day event, which 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 of his short novel Neel Dongshon in English,” he said.

A young and an established writer will also be awarded for their work, he added.

Festival director Sadaf Saaz said there were security concerns among many, especially after the Gulshan café attack of 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 -- Jaari Gaan, Behula Lokhindar and 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.

Brac and Brac International's Senior Director Asif Saleh said, “The young writers need to be more exposed to the world stage. We are trying to do it.”

The organisers said entry to the festival will require no ticket, but registration, which can be done at the entrance or through

The festival is being produced by Jatrik, with Bangla Academy as the co-host and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as special partner. The British Council is the gold partner; Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune are the title sponsors, with Brac as platinum sponsor; and Energis and Purnava the gold sponsors.

Festival director Ahsan Akbar and Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan were present.

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