Women to take centre stage at LLF 2016

Published Feb 09, 2016 09:56am
South African journalist Zukiswa Wanner and Afghanistan history buff Nancy Hatch Dupree
South African journalist Zukiswa Wanner and Afghanistan history buff Nancy Hatch Dupree

LAHORE: Some interesting new panelists will be expected to attend the Lahore Literary Festival this year.

There will be a mixture of foreign and local delegates, including a large number of women panelists, who will speak on a variety of issues.

South African journalist and novelist Zukiswa Wanner whose debut novel, The Madams, was shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker Award and her latest novel, London Cape Town Joburg (2014), is a prize winner.

In 2014, she was named on the Hay Festival’s Africa list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African literature. She has written four novels -- two non-fiction books and two for children.

Soraya Khan, whose work incorporates her own family history, is a Pakistani-Dutch author of three novels. Her works focus important events in the history of Pakistan. Her novel, City of Spies (2015), won the Best International Fiction Book Award at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Currently, she lives in New York.

Professor of anthropology at BRAC University, Bangladesh, Dina Siddiqi has done research on gender, labour, human rights and transnational feminisms across South Asia. She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr, the New School, and Columbia University. She serves on the editorial board of Routledge’s Women in Asia Publication Series.

Tanika Sarkar is professor of modern history at Jawaharlal Nehru University and visiting professor of history at Yale University. Her works include, Bengal, 1928-1934; the Politics of Protest (1987); Words to Win: A Modern Autobiography (1999); Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Religion, Community, Cultural Nationalism (2000) and Rebels, Wives, Saints: Designing Selves and Nations in Colonial Times (2010).

Lucy Peck trained as an architect and town planner. Inspired by her time in Delhi, she published, Delhi: A Thousand Years of Building (2005), followed by Agra: The Architectural Heritage (2010), and Lahore: The Architectural Heritage (2014).

An expert on the history, art, and archaeology of Afghanistan, Nancy Hatch Dupree has dedicated a lifetime to documenting and preserving Afghanistan’s cultural heritage. Dupree wrote five guidebooks to Afghanistan. She is the director of the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University.

Indian writer Tania James is a Harvard graduate in filmmaking with a Masters in Fine Art from Colombia.

Her novel Atlas of Unknowns (2009) was the New York Times Editor’s Choice and short stories Aerogrammes and Other Stories (2012) won the Kirkus Reviews Award for best book of 2012.

Other women panelists will include Fehmida Riaz, Kishwar Naheed and Attiya Dawood who need no introduction for the local audience.

The delegates will be renowned Chinese calligrapher Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang who fuses both the Chinese and Arabic styles. Jiang has been awarded Certificate of Arabic Calligrapher in Egypt, becoming the first Chinese person to be honoured with the award. He was born in the Shangdong province and he brings immense knowledge in traditional thought and Islamic art to modern audiences in a fusion of both Eastern and Western.

Mick Conefrey is an award-winning documentary maker and writer. His TV credits include Mountain Men and Icemen for BBC TV and the BBC’s 50th anniversary film for the first ascent of Everest. His books include The Adventurer’s Handbook, Everest 1953 (2013) and The Ghosts of K2 (2015).

Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar and director, Sinan Antoon starred in the widely-acclaimed documentary film About Baghdad (2004). He has published two collections of poetry; Mawshur Muballal bil-Hurub (2003) and One Night in All Cities (2010).

The author of several books, his novel, Ya Maryam (2013) was shortlisted for the 2013 International Prize of Arabic Fiction and his novel, The Corpse Washer (2013), was longlisted for the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction and won the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Literary Translation. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book, In the Presence of Absence (2011), won the 2012 ALTA National Translation Award.

Other delegates include Shuja Nawaz, Zehra Nigah, Qaiser Mahmood, Razia Sultanova, Masood Asher, A G Noorani, Muneeza Shamsie, Kamila Shamsie, C M Naim, Shezad Dawood, Rafia Zakaria, Anissa Helou, Reza Deghati, Hamid Ismailov, Iftikhar Dadi, Mary Katrina Shemza, Rasheed Araeen, Ashok Ferrey, Syed Babar Ali, and Rana Dasgupta.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2016

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