The DLF this year will have 60 writers from around the world converge with local writers and artists in many panels. Here we present readers with a few of them. For the full list of authors attending this year, visit dhakalitfest.com
VS Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. He was knighted in 1989, was awarded the David Cohen British Literature Prize in 1993, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He holds honorary doctorates from Cambridge University and Columbia University in New York, and honorary degrees from the universities of Cambridge, London, and Oxford. He lives in Wiltshire, England.
Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore in 1954 and moved to America at the age of five. He is the author of the poetry books Wild Kingdom, The Long Meadow, The Disappearances, and 3 Sections, as well as many essays, reviews, and memoir fragments. His work has been widely published, anthologized and recognized with many honours, most recently the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and, in 2015, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He studied at Oberlin College and Columbia University, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he held the Michele Tolela Myers Chair.
Alex Preston is an award-winning novelist and journalist who appears regularly on BBC television and radio. He writes for GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country Magazine as well as for the Observer’s New Review. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent. His next book, About Birds in Literature, will be published by Little, Brown in May 2017.
Amy Sackville’s first novel, The Still Point (Portobello, 2010) was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for a work of literature by a writer under 35, and was also long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her second novel, Orkney, was published by Granta Books in 2013, and won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2014. She lives in London and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent.
Anthony McGowan has written two literary thrillers, Stag Hunt and Mortal Coil, and seven young-adult novels, Hellbent, Henry Tumour, The Knife That Killed Me (made into a highly acclaimed film in 2014), The Fall, Brock, Hello Darkness and Pike. He has also written widely for younger children. He will have three new books out in 2017: Everybody Hurts—a young adult novel co-written with Jo Nadin; a picture book, I Killed Santa, illustrated by the UK children’s laureate, Chris Riddell; and The Art of Failing, described by Nick Hornby as “It’s eccentric, charming, maddening, and very, very funny. It also comes much closer to describing the reality of the writing life than anything you’ll find in the Paris Review.”
Barkha Dutt is consulting editor with NDTV, India’s premier news network. She is one of India’s best-known journalists and the youngest to receive the Padma Shri award. In her 23-year career, she has covered several conflict zones, including Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya, and interviewed a range of personalities around the world including Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Nawaz Sharif, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tony Blair, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hamid Karzai, Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi, the Dalai Lama, Indra Nooyi and Salman Rushdie. She hosts the talk shows, We The People, and The Buck Stops Here. Her coverage of the Kashmir floods became the first Indian series to be nominated for the International Emmy Awards in the News category. Barkha Dutt is the author of This Unquiet Land: Stories from India’s Fault Lines. Follow her on Twitter @bdutt
Bee Rowlatt is a writer and journalist. Her current book In Search of Mary was inspired by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. It was on the Independent’s Best Biographies list. It was featured on BBC Meet the Author and Public Radio International’s The World, and described by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as “terrific—quite unlike anything I’ve read before.” Bee writes a feminist blog for the BBC. She co-wrote Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad and is one of the writers in Virago’s Fifty Shades of Feminism. Her public speaking appearances include 5×15, the Southbank Women of the World festival, Hay Festival, and British Council literary events in Iraq, Norway, India, Mexico, Russia and Palestine. She is a regular guest on BBC Woman’s Hour and has reported for BBC World Service, Newsnight, and BBC2. Her personla website: www.beerowlatt.com and follow her on Twitter @BeeRowlatt
Chador Wangmo is a celebrated Bhutanese author of nine children’s books and two novels. She started her writing career with illustrated folktales for children. A teacher turned writer, she dedicates her entire time to writing. She is currently working on her first-ever superhero book, which is scheduled to be released in 2017. Wangmo also volunteers for social causes. She has successfully conducted a Summer Exposure Tour for twenty children from a very remote village in the summer of 2016. Since this project was a huge success, the Rotary Club of Thimphu, which was the major sponsor for the project, has decided to conduct such projects every year.
Deborah Smith‘s translations from the Korean include two novels by Han Kang, The Vegetarian (winner of the 2016 International Man Booker Prize) and Human Acts; and two by Bae Suah, A Greater Music and Recitation. In 2015 Deborah completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, on contemporary Korean literature and founded Tilted Axis, a non-profit press focusing on contemporary and cutting-edge Asian fiction in translation. Their debut title was Panty by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha. In 2016 Deborah won the Arts Foundation Award for Literary Translation. Follow her on Twitter @londonkoreanist.
Evie Wyld is an Anglo-Australian author. She has published three books: Everything is Teeth (2015), All the Birds, Singing (2013), and After the Fire a Still Small Voice (2009). She has won several awards including Australia’s Miles Franklin Award in 2014. In 2013 she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She works and lives in South London where she helps run Review bookshop.
Nayanika Mookherjee is the research director and reader in the Anthropology department in Durham University, UK. In June 2014 she was invited to the international summit End Sexual Violence in Conflict in UK and in Oct 2014 she was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman (for overseas Indians) award at the House of Lords for her social anthropological work on gendered violence during wars. She has published extensively on anthropology of violence, ethics and aesthetics. Her book, The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories and the Bangladesh War (2015, Duke University Press, Foreword by Prof Veena Das and to be republished in South Asia in October 2016 by Zubaan) was shortlisted for the BBC’s Thinking Allowed and Best Ethnography Award. She did her PhD in Social Anthropology (Felix scholar) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Prabda Yoon is a writer, translator, graphic designer, publisher and filmmaker based in Bangkok, Thailand. His story collection, Kwam Na Ja Pen (Probability), won the S.E.A. Write Award in 2002. He runs the publishing house Typhoon Studio, co-founded the independent bookshop Bookmoby Readers’ Cafe, and serves the Thai publishing industry as Vice President of International Affairs in the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT). Prabda is also the current President of the Asia Pacific Publishers Association (APPA).
Sangeeta Bandyopadhay, born in 1947, went to Carmel Convent School in Durgapur and later to Bagbazar Multipurpose Girls’ School, where she was first exposed to the immense joys of Bengali literature, and Ghokale Memorial College. To learn Bengali language she began reading Bengali literature. This can be considered the turning point of her life; as she read she also thought of writing. Her first novel, Sankhini, was published in Desh Patrika 13 years ago and is still high up on the best seller charts. Bandyopadhay has written nine novels and 60 short stories, and is currently trying to become a full time writer. Her Bengali novel Ruh, was translated into English as Abandon, while two more Bengali novels, Panty and Sanmohan, were published as Panty and Hypnosis. Panty was published in June 2016 by UK publisher Tilted Axis, and has fascinated UK readers.
Steven J Fowler is a poet and artist. He works in the modernist and avant-garde traditions, across poetry, fiction, theatre, sonic art, visual art, installation and performance. He has published five collections of poetry, and been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, The British Council, Tate Britain, Liverpool Biennial and Wellcome Collection. He has been translated into 21 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico City to Erbil, Beijing to Tbilisi. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine, Lecturer at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern and is the curator of the Enemies project. His personal website: http://www.stevenjfowler.com/
Tim Cope is an adventurer, author and film-maker with a special interest in the traditional cultures of Central Asia and Russia. Tim’s most renowned journey was a three-year, 6,000-mile journey by horse from Mongolia to Hungary on the trail of Genghis Khan—a quest to understand the horseback nomads of the great Eurasian steppe. Tim is the author of Off the Rails: Moscow to Beijing on Recumbent Bikes (Penguin Books 2003), and On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Lands of the Nomads (Bloomsbury Worldwide Sep 2013). He is also the creator of several documentary films, including the award-winning series, The Trail of Genghis Khan, commissioned by ABC Australia and ZDF/Arte in Europe. His personla website: www.timcopejourneys.com and follow him on Twitter @timcopejourneys
Vuyelwa Maluleke, is a Johannesburg-based spoken word artist, scriptwriter and actor, with a BA in dramatic arts from the University of Witwatersrand. She was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry in 2014, is the author of a chapbook, Things we Lost in the Fire, and the slam champion of the Word and Sound 2015 Poetry league competition. She describes herself explicitly as a storyteller, archiving, through her writing a personal experience of her blackness and womanness whilst navigating present day South Africa. Her writing serves as evidence that the black female body in South Africa is consistently being broken into in various spaces, that it can love and affirm itself is evidence of its ability to survive and want to survive.