K Anis Ahmed, organiser and also the publisher of Dhaka Tribune, yesterday spoke at a press conference: “This year we have brought 66 writers from 18 countries, among which we have winner of Nobel Prize in Literature VS Naipaul, Pulizer winner, Vijay Seshadri and Man Booker International Prize Deborah Smith which is the first time in Bangladesh such a congregation of three big literary award winners has come together.”
He also said: “We are very excited and proud of DLF this year and hope that people will enjoy the event,” at Bangla Academy yesterday morning where DLF directors K Anis Ahmed, Sadaf Saaz and Ahsan Akbar and Bangla Academy General Director Shamsuzzaman Khan also spoke.
Ahsan Akbar spoke of the visiting author’s excitement about visiting Bangladesh.
He said: “We did not have to try and convince the authors to come especially VS Naipaul. He always spoke of wanting to visit Bangladesh and was going to come last year but unfortunately fell ill.”
Sadaf Saaz spoke of how Bangladeshi authors and traditions will also be highlighted this year at DLF.
“We have plenty of programs from around Bangladesh such as Jari gaan, Pala gaan, Behula Lakhindorer Jari, etc. We want to present the traditional culture of Bangladesh to the world.”
K Anis stressed the importance of Bangladeshi literature and how DLF provides a platform to present that to the rest of the world.
“One of the highlights of the festival will be a tribute to one of Bangladesh’s beloved writers, the late Syed Shamsul Haq, with a production of his short novel, Neel Dongshon in English.”
“There will also be cultural programmes, folk performances, poetry recitations, an editing workshop, children’s programmes and film screenings along with almost 100 panels,” he added.
Bangla Academy Director, Shamsuzzaman Khan said such events help highlight Bangladeshi literature to the world.
He also spoke of how this event is increasing the number of translated Bangladeshi work which he believes will further expand with the rise of events like DLF.
VS Naipaul will inaugurate the three-day long literary festival at 11am on Thursday. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit, Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor will also be present at the inaugural event.
Senior Director of BRAC International, Asif Saleh also spoke at the press conference, attended by Dhaka Tribune Editor, Zafar Sobhan, Bangla Tribune Acting Editor, Zulfiqer Russell among others.
DLF will held from November 17-19, from 9am to 7pm. The event is open to all but online registration is mandatory.