Irrawaddy Lit Festival Update

The festival is only two weeks away now and I have been lucky to see a preview of the draft schedule.  Of course, nothing is set in stone until the day arrives, but If you are familiar with the lay out of the Inya Lake hotel then you wont be surprised to know that the Ballroom is planned to feature all the top international authors; William Dalrymple, Tom Maschler, Vikram Seth, Jung Chang and Fergal Keane.

Representing the Burmese voice in the Ballroom are of course; Daw Suu, U Thaw Kaung, Thant Myint U, Ko Ko Thett, Pandora, Ma Thida and Pascal Koo Thwe.

The Ruby Room will see Nick Danziger, Rory Maclean, Akash Kapoor,  Sudha Shah, U Ba Than, Thit Sar Ni.

The Jade Room, due to its proximity to the Ballroom, is used sparingly.

It is good to see the Burmese writers represented, although for a “Burmese festival for the Burmese people” it does still seem over heavy and reliant on the international authors.

 

Update  22/1/13

Just got a copy of last nights press release with the Burmese authors.  Provides more information about the authors and panel discussions.

Burma/Myanmar’s first ever International Literary Festival will take place at the Inya Lake Hotel from 1-3 (inclusive) February 2013.

Tickets for this unique event are selling out fast!

Book online at www.irrawaddylitfest.com or buy a ticket (Kyats 1,500) at: Myanmar Book Centre, Monument Books, Inya Lake Hotel and the British Council Rangoon.

Don’t miss the Irrawaddy Literary Festival’s unique mix of spell-binding outdoor entertainment and enthralling literary figures. Enjoy the expertise of the Mandalay Marionette Theatre while picnicking on the lawns; see a magician perform impossible tricks; browse bookstalls laden with the latest and best of the literary world; marvel at the skill of Caneball players and famous Nat Dancers, or simply listen to the sound of music travel across the beautiful Inya Lake.

There is so much more than brilliant Literature on offer at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival!

Buy your ticket now (or book online) to hear DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI discuss her favourite poetry and prose with world renowned authors JUNG CHANG (‘Wild Swans’) and VIKRAM SETH (‘A Suitable Boy’).

Full details of the Festival Programme can soon be found at www.irrawaddylitfest.com but a sample of the stellar line up includes opening sessions (Friday 1st February) on Burmese poetry and ethnic literature, Sudha Shah discussing her book on King Thibaw in exile and ‘Wild Swans’ author, Jung Chang, explaining why she became a writer. Dr Thein Naing talks about his life and the once dying art of Puppetry. Others taking part in Friday’s packed Programme include Zarganar, Ba Myint, the BBC’s Fergal Keane, William Dalrymple, direct from Jaipur Festival and the famous blogger Nay Phone Latt.

On Saturday 2nd February Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s discussion of literature with life-long friend, U Thaw Kaung, will undoubtedly be one of the Festival highlights. Lucky audience members can attend Daw Suu’s second appearance at the Festival, on Saturday afternoon, when she takes part in a thrilling panel discussion, with Jung Chang, Vikram Seth and William Dalrymple, on their favourite poetry and prose, moderated by the BBC’s Fergal Keane.

On Sunday 3rd February the Festival continues with a teeming schedule of panel discussions, photojournalism exhibitions, and individual talks. Tom Maschler describes the making of ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ before a special movie screening. The ever popular ‘Ju’ and a host of others including Pascal Khoo Thwe (‘From the Land of Green Ghosts’), Ma Thida, Rory MacLean (‘Under the Dragon’), Vikram Seth and many other stars of the literary and cultural scene will share their ideas and work in a first of its kind festival for Burma/Myanmar.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity. Book your place now (www.irrawaddylitfest.com) or buy a ticket at Myanmar Book Centre, Monument Books, The Inya Lake Hotel or the British Council.

 

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About Lucas Stewart

Former British Council Literature Advisor | Author of The People Elsewhere: Unbound Journey's with the Storytellers of Myanmar