Indian writers at the forefront of Dubai literature festival

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, who is also a writer and critic, will deliver the prestigious Orwell Lecture at a literature festival that began here yesterday.

Tharoor will be leading the Indian participants at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. His lecture will be introduced by Ed Hobart, British Consul General in Dubai.
In a discussion with columnist Anil Dharker, Tharoor, formerly an UN Under-Secretary General and the MoS for External Affairs, will reflect on the diplomatic reach of India and his vision of the country as portrayed in his latest book Pax Indica.

Besides Tharoor, poet and novelist Jeet Thayil who also took part in the event yesterday, will be joined by Simon Armitage, Frank Dullaghan and Hind Shoufani tomorrow in Poetry Mix for an eclectic celebration of verse in all its forms.

Thayil will also discuss how an author can weave evocative prose and complexity from exotic settings with fellow Man Booker short-listed author, Tan Twan Eng and Icelandic writer Sjon in their session 'Intoxicating Prose From East & West'.

Thayil's debut novel Narcopolis was short-listed for the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2012 and was also long listed for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, in January 2013 it won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

Celebrity author and critic Shobhaa De and actor/writer Anupam Kher will be part of a session Talking Celebrity and Success where they will discuss the cult of celebrity and how fame has impacted their daily lives.

De is scheduled to discuss her love of blogging on The Blogging Panel; and in her solo session Politically Incorrect and Loving It reveal her views and appetite for controversial subjects, all of which are explored in her latest novel Sethji.

She will also join Dharker and historian William Dalrymple on The India Panel where they will assess how India is rising to the challenges of the 21st century.

Author Geeta Chhabra, who wrote her first book, An Indian Ode to the Emirates, which contains 40 poems (with Arabic translation) commemorating 40 years of the UAE’s Union and the ties between India and the UAE will be running a poetry workshop for children.

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