Nobel Prize winning litterateur VS Naipaul today inaugurated the Dhaka Literary Festival, with this the three-day festival kicks off at the Bangla Academy premises.
“I am happy to be here in Dhaka to take part in the fest,” said the Trinidadian Nobel Prize-winning British writer known for his comic novels set in Trinidad and Tobago while inaugurating this year’s literary extravaganza.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith was also very much effusive in his address during the inaugural ceremony -- “An important aspect of the festival is that it is bringing out a good number of translations of Bengali literature for the readers worldwide,” he remarked.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor was also present during the ceremony.
The sixth edition of the festival also featuring 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 are expected to be attending the event.
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.
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.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan on Sunday 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.
The organisers said entry to the festival will require no ticket, but registration, which can be done at the entrance or through www.dhakalitfest.com.
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.