Indian authors Shobhaa De and Ritu Menon will take part in the three-day second Islamabad Literature Festival from April 25 to 27 organised by the Oxford University Press (OUP).
Announcing this, OUP Managing Director Ameena Saiyid OBE and Dr Asif Farrukhi, the co-founders of the Karachi Literature Festival and the Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) said at a press conference on Tuesday that over 120 writers and speakers from Pakistan and abroad from five countries would take part in the festival. There will be 67 sessions and 14 book launches.
In addition there will be two Dastangoi performances by Danish Husain, Darain Shahidi, Fawad Khan and Nazrul Hasan. The first ILF last year had over 15,000 visitors and generated much interest. Ms. Saiyid said the festival allows writers to be freely accessible to people in an open and participatory manner.
The ILF will feature talks/interviews, panel discussions, a mushaira, dastangoi, book fair, book launches, readings, author signings, a theatre play by NAPA, art sessions and exhibition by Art Now and My Art World and a photo exhibition by the Citizens Archives of Pakistan (CAP).
Over 110 Pakistani authors, poets, and academics apart from speakers from the UK, Italy, India and Bangladesh will take part in the ILF.
Zehra Nigah, Aamer Hussein, and Kishwar Naheed will be the keynote speakers. Some of the prominent speakers include Aamer Hussein, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, Abbas Rashid, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ahmad Fouad, Ali Aftab Saeed, Arfa Sayeda, Aslam Saher, Bilal Tanweer, Bina Shah, Babar Ayaz, Fahmida Riaz, Feryal Ali-Gauhar, H.M. Naqvi, Harris Khalique, Humayun Gauhar, Intizar Husain, Jugnu Mohsin, Kamal Azfar, Kishwar Naheed, Kristiane Backer, Luca Olieveri, Madeeha Gauhar, Meenu Gaur, Mehnaz Aziz, Mirza, Athar Baig, Mosharraf Zaidi, Mujahid Barelvi, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Najam Sethi, Najmuddin Shaikh, Navid Shahzad, Raana Shaikh, Rahat Kazmi, Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Raza Ali Abidi, Riaz H. Khokhar, Rob Crilly, Saira Kazmi, Sarmad Khoosat, Sarwat Mohiuddin, Shahid Nadeem, Sheema Kermani, Shobhaa De, Sultana Siddiqui, Taimur Rahman, Zahid Hussain, and Zehra Nigah.
Highlights of the third day include sessions on ‘Who Owns a Language; The Challenges of Writing Fiction in English’; ‘An Open Page: The Publishing Scene in South Asia’; ‘New Words, New Worlds; The Art of Translation’; ‘Popular Cinema and Realism: In Conversation with the makers of Zinda Bhaag’; ‘Preview of Film on Manto and Launch of Poora Manto Volumes I and II’; ‘At the Threshold of Ghalib’ with Syed Nomanul Haq and Rahat Kazmi; ‘The Role of Music in Popularizing Urdu Poetry’; and ‘Just Between Us: In Conversation with Najam Sethi’.