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Fairway Galle Literary Festival announces authors for 2019

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival (GLF) 2019 will take place from 16 – 20 January 2019, marking the festival’s tenth anniversary.

For this year, 26 of the writers who will be travelling to Sri Lanka to take part in FGLF 2019, were shared with the public on Thursday 25 by Jill Macdonald, the Festival curator.

However, she said,

“The following list remains non-exclusive and in the months leading up to the Festival, there will be several surprise announcements.”

Anthony Horowitz, one of the most prolific and successful writers in the UK, is on the list. His Alex Rider books have sold over 16 million copies and he is the only modern writer to have been invited by Ian Fleming’s trustees to write two James Bond novels.

Also scheduled to attend is Sir David Hare, one of the most celebrated and best known of contemporary playwrights, who was also the screen writer of the highly acclaimed film ‘The Hours’ which was nominated for 9 Academy awards.

Another scheduled participant is none other than Lucy Fleming, niece of Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame.

The Festival, which has established itself as a much anticipated and highly acclaimed fixture on the South-East Asian cultural calendar, attracts thousands of people each year.

It has evolved into a cultural attraction which greatly encourages tourism and brings highly educated and influential visitors to the UNESCO world heritage of Galle each year.

GLF has reminded the world of Sri Lanka’s deep commitment to literature and the arts as pursuits underlining the distinctive human capacity for creativity, and it has only continued to grow since its inception over a decade ago.

The list includes:

1. Sir David Hare – one of the most celebrated and best known contemporary playwrights, who was also the screen writer of the highly acclaimed film ‘The Hours” which was nominated for 9 Academy awards.

2. Sir Don McCullin – One of the most admired photojournalists of his time, he’s had a powerful impact on public knowledge of news to which access is difficult or complicated.

3. Fatima Bhutto – The niece of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, she is a poet who is also a journalist and writer of fiction. Her book ‘The Shadow of the Crescent Moon” was long-listed in 2014 for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

4. William Dalrymple – The award winning writer of numerous books related to history and travel. Based in India, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is also one of the co-founders of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

5. Madeleine Thien – A distinguished Canadian writer, joining GLF after a hectic year of touring, her most recent book, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, The novel was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016.

6. Romesh Gunasekera – A highly acclaimed writer, who was part of the initial conception of GLF with its founder Jeffrey Dobbs. His stunning early works Reef was shortlisted for The Booker Prize.

7. Vahni Capildeo – Without a doubt, one of the most exciting and interesting voices in contemporary English poetry. Her interest in literature was sparked when she heard Romesh Gunasekera speak at an event and she is most excited to visit his home country.

8. Tishani Doshi – A poet, writer and dancer based in India, she has been the lead dancer in the Chandralekha Troupe and has toured the world with her dance troupe, and hence, the human body plays an important role in her poetry.

9. Carlo Pizzati – A Fiction and Non-fiction writer, he is also an award winning journalist. Pizzati is the first Italian writer to be featured at GLF.

10. Thomas Bell – His book on Kathmandu attracted a lot of critical attention and is known by critics in modern writing as the seminal book on Kathmandu.

11. Kavitha YagaBuggana – Her travel memoir, “Walking in Clouds” will be released November 2018 by Harper Collins and GLF will be her first public appearance after its publication.

12. Kamila Shamsie – The author of seven novels, which have been translated into over 20 languages, she is also a highly respected literary critic.

13. Lucy Fleming – she is the niece of Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame. Lucy is an experienced performer and will be performing the west end production “Posting Letters to the Moon” with her husband Simon Williams.

14. Simon Williams – Featured in Sir David Hare’s plays, Simon will conduct a Drama workshop which will be the first one ever to be done at GLF, for adults.

15. Tassie Seneviratne – A retired Senior Superintendent of the Police, his book Human Right and Policing – Reminiscences of my Police Days, recounts his days as a police officer and the stories of the various police officers he worked with during the Sri Lankan civil war.

16. Anthony Horowitz – One of the most prolific and successful writers in the UK. His Alex Rider books have sold over 16 million copies and he is the only modern writer to have been invited by Ian Fleming’s trustees to write two James Bond novels.

17. Justine Picardie – A fashion writer, a novelist and a biographer. She is currently the Editor-In-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar UK. Her talk on Coco Chanel’s biography at the FGLF 2018 was wildly popular.

18. Rachel Johnson – The first female graduate trainee at the Financial Times, she is also the sister of Boris Johnson, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom.

19. Nandana Sen – An award-winning children’s author, she published her first story as a child, and went on to become a top literature student at Harvard University. She has also acted in more than 20 feature films.

20. Dinah Jefferies – Author of several bestselling novels, one of which is The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Sunday Times number one bestseller- set in Sri Lanka when it was known as Ceylon. She was set to be a part of GLF last year, but unfortunately fell ill; she is keen to join the Festival in 2019.

21. Charles Cumming – A rising star in the genre of detective writing, shortly after university he was approached for recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), an experience that inspired his first novel, A Spy by Nature.

22. Senthuran Varatharajah – An award-winning German novelist of Sri Lankan origin, he was connected with GLF via the Goethe-Institute Sri Lanka who are the principal cultural sponsors for GLF.

23. Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe – She has written poetry, a few books of non-fiction and her first collection of poems, There’s an Island in the Bone won the 2011 Sri Lanka State Literary Joint Award.

24. Anne Enright – She won the Booker prize for her novel The Gathering, and she is a highly sought after author for literary festivals due to her engaging and joyful nature.

25. Herve le Tellier – A writer, journalist and food critic, he began his career as a scientific journalist and has published numerous books in French and English.

26. Peter Kuruvita – Born to Sri Lankan and Austrian parents, he shares his love for Sri Lankan food through his work as a chef and his book Serendip My Sri Lankan Kitchen.

By Dimithri Wijesinghe