Watch out for the second literary festival in Pakistan.
Did we say “raining lit-fests in the sub-continent” a couple of months ago? Correction: It is literally raining lit-fests in Pakistan alone. Over the span of a little over two months, this country will see the launch of its second new literature festival; this time in Islamabad. Plus there is the “very happening” Karachi Literature Festival (KLF); all in the first quarter of the year.
Indeed, two months after the launch of the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF), the Oxford University Press has decided to ride into Islamabad on the popularity of its four-year-old KLF with a similar offering for the federal capital. It will be a two-day fare featuring several leading English and Urdu writers with the promise of some international names thrown in. Some new writers are also expected to be launched at the festival. And, from what OUP Pakistan managing director Ameena Saiyid had to say, there could be more such festivals elsewhere in the country. “We want to leverage on the success of the four KLFs and take the event to other parts of the country so that more people can be exposed to the works of Pakistani writers.”
While the KLF first and the LLF from this year have been showcased as evidence of Pakistan being a country that has more to show than just violence and terrorism, they have drawn a fair share of criticism for focusing mainly on English and Urdu writing despite the corpus of writing available in other Pakistani languages.