Curtains to the Hay Festival Dhaka are set to rise on November 20, for the fourth time on the historic grounds of the Bangla Academy in Dhaka.
Founded in 1987, Hay Festival has become one of the world's top literary festivals and has emerged as a significant literary platform in the country for Bangladeshi writers, especially those writing in English.
“Taking inspiration from Bangladesh's great literary tradition while broadening its horizons, creative thinkers from the region and 13 different countries will engage with the vibrant, energetic and politically savvy audience of our country,” said Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, a director of Hay Festival Dhaka.
The themes of this year include multiple ways of story-telling, intersections of the personal and the political, and pushing the boundaries of the mind, she added.
The three-day literary festival will feature local and international writers, poets, artists, philosophers and journalists, including Aamer Hussein, Abeer Hoque, Asif Farrukhi, Daman Singh, Fatema Hassan, Gideon Haigh, Joelle Jolivet, John Ralston Saul, Jung Chang, Kaiser Haq, Kanak Dixit, Karthika Nair, Lucy Hawking, Manju Kapur, Marcus Du Sautoy, Maria Chaudhuri, Michael Puett, Mimi Khalvati, Mirza Waheed, Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, Muneeza Shamsie, Namita Gokhale, Patrick French, Rafiq Azad, Rana Das Gupta, Selina Hossain, Shaheen Akhter, Shashi Tharoor, Syed Shamsul Haq, TJ Dema, William Dalrymple, Zia Haider Rahman.
Hay 2014 will highlight interactive panel discussions, book launches, and creative sessions for children, poetry performances, medleys of Shakespearean plays in translation, unplugged Bengali rap and much more.
Among other sessions, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Great Indian Novel and its first Bangla translation, award-winning author and politician Shashi Tharoor will discuss his literary journey; academician Firdous Azim will converse with Bangladeshi-born writer Zia Haider Rahman to uncover the intricacies of his debut novel In the Light of What We Know; author Lucy Hawking will explore the universe in interactive sessions for children, based on her books co-written with her father, world-famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking.
Entry to the festival is free.