The Lit Fest 2018 is here
The Lit Fest is of course the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. What will you choose to see? Read DoinDubai’s carefully curated selection of literary events and be inspired to read around your subject.
What is the Lit fest all about
It’s a literary festival that is now in it’s 10th successful year. Originally set up and still run as a not for profit foundation by Isobel Aboulhoul as one the main trustees, the festival brings an impressive group of international authors to Dubai for a 10 day literary extravaganza. But note the lit fest is not only about books!
It offers so much more. Did you know that none of the authors who come to the festival are paid for their time? Only their travel and accommodation is taken care of.
When is the Lit Fest happening this year
The Lit Fest is happening between the 1st and 10th of March 2018.
Where is the Lit Fest happening
The bulk of the events are happening at the lit fest’s home for 10 years, at Festival City in Dubai in conjunction with the Intercontinental hotel, also based in Festival City. Here’s a google map showing you the exact location.
But there are some special events at other venues around the city. For example there is a cross-cultural poetry reading being held at Dubai Opera Downtown on Tuesday 6th of March.
What can we expect at the Lit Fest this year
You can expect world-class top name authors such as Alexander McCall Smith, Kate Adie and Jeffrey Archer discussing their latest offerings.
But you’ll also experience lesser known authors who have something important to say….I’m thinking of the German writer Souad Mekhennet’s I was Told to Come Alone. That’s why the lit fest is such a good opportunity to absorb the best of what literary life has to offer so you can take away your favourite flavours in one greedy gulp, even if you don’t read that much.
How is the Lit Fest organized
The lit fest is a very well organized festival with a variety of events, workshops, book readings and even dinners centered around a literary theme with corresponding authors. All the events are ticketed though and the popular ones will sell out soon so do book early.
These are just some of the types of events happening over the 10 days of the festival.
- Author Talks based on the latest offerings for both adult and children’s books
- Literary Dinners with culinary authors – do you like Chinese or Indian food?
- Literary Workshops connected to Creative Writing, Crime Writing and Travel Writing
- Drawing Workshops for kids aged 6 to 10 years
- Poetry slam workshops for teenagers aged 13 to 18 years
- Talks on how to write a Best Seller with Richard and Judy – Good Morning Dubai!
- Panel Discussions on literary matters
- Book Tote Workshops
- A Movie Screening and Book Talk – Lion by Saroo Brierley
- And even 5-minute slots providing you with an opportunity to pitch your book to an agent!
The selection that follows is taken from the official programme of the Emirates Festival of Literature as interpreted and curated by me. I was inspired to write this post after listening to a talk on the best of the Festival given by Yvette Judge – the Chief Operating Officer of the Festival.
Our Top Picks for the Lit Fest
I would love to read and hear more about:
- Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians book, not Dubai problems, not 3rd world problems, but #richpeopleproblems! Plastic surgery for your gold fish anyone? Catch him on Friday 2nd March at 14:00 to 15:00 This book, part of a trilogy is being made into a movie too.
- The movie Lion is also being screened and afterwards Saroo Brierly will talk about his new book: A Long Way Home. He was only 5 years old when he was abandoned on a train in Calcutta.
- Historical Fiction fans may like William Dalrymple’s The World’s Most Infamous Diamond. A different kind of Crown to the one on Netflix! Catch him on Friday 2nd March at 18:00 to 19:00.
- But you may want to compare this book with Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire – What the British did to India. Find him on Saturday 3rd March between 18:00 and 19:00.
- More historical drama this time from Andrew Morton, who wrote Diana her true story, that was 25 years ago! He’s talking about Wallis in Love but is currently writing about none other than Meghan Markell… the newest Hollywood Princess. Friday 9th of March from 12:00 to 13:00
- But maybe if you had to choose to listen to one historian, then make it Dame Jenni Murray who is speaking about 21 women that shaped Britain. Saturday 10th from 14:00 to 15:00 Now that’s a real Woman’s Hour!
And we all travel so much from Dubai, but if you ever wanted to get into the mind of a pilot (or even need a good gift for one!) then try How to Land a Plane. It’s the follow up book by Mark Vanhoenacker – author of the best seller Skyfaring.
Catch him at the festival on Friday 2nd March 12:00 to 13:00
For the Foodies
- There are 2 literary dinners happening this year one with Madhur Jaffrey, Come Dal with Me that’s a 4 course meal made from her recipes. Curry Easy is her new book And one with Ken Hom called My Stir Fried Life, expect a 3 course meal from Ken Hom’s favourite recipes.
- If you like Clean Eating, then you may want to look at Eat Happy the new book by Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley and Hemsley fame. We visited their café in Selfridges last summer in London. Friday 2nd 10 till 11 am. See more about London Cafes including Hemlsey and Hemsley here
- And if coffee is your poison… then grab a free cup of coffee on Saturday 3rd March with Claudia Roden and Ghaya Al Dhahiri. Learn about the role that coffee has played in the UAE culture and history. There will be a prize giving for the Costa Debate after this session. The debate is sure to generate some good discussion – print books or e books, what’s your preference then?
If all this foodie chat has made you hungry get some recipe inspo from our easy to cook pages here.
- I love the sound of I was Told To Come Alone by Souad Mekhennet: Now adapted into a TV series, this brave investigative journalist tells the story of her dangerous journey into the land of jihadis.
- Another kind of journey, this time into the Wild with Cheryl Strayed who relives her life changing journey undertaken at just 22 years of age. Now a major movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Friday 9th March 18:00 to 19:00
- I loved The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and this year he’s closing the festival talking about his new book The Labyrinth of Spirits. Last but not least on Saturday 10th March between 10:00 and 11:00 am
Still need some book inspiration look at our earlier book reviews here.
And for Children
Don’t miss the spectacle of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, written originally by Judith Kerr in 1968, she is now 94 years old! The tiger is coming but Judith will participate via video link! Dare to participate on Saturday 3rd March from 16:00 to 17:00
- Giraffes Don’t Dance: Be who and what you want to be… no not a detective story set in Botswana, but a children’s book ….and who says Giraffes Don’t Dance anyway?
- Did your children learn to read with Biff, Kipper and Chip? Mine did! Then you’ll love this Oxford Reading Tree session with Alex Brychta and Roderick Hunt, just make sure you’re at least 4 years old! Friday 9th March between 14:00 and 15:00
- Teens would love The Short Story Lab writing workshop with Andrey Kurkov of Death and the Penguin Fame. Teach those teens how to write real stories and bring their imaginations out of social and into the real world! Friday 9th March between 14:00 and 15:00
How to participate in the Lit Fest
Here’s the link that tells you how to buy tickets and what’s on when.. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE AND WEBSITE
The TICKETS link is here
Please note all the graphics in this post have been taken with permission of Yvette Judge from the official Emirates Airline Festival of Literature programme.
Thank You Monica, do share with all your bookie friends! And do tell me in a comment, what are you reading right now?