The forthcoming George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) in Penang is a certain buzz that excites book fans.
There will appear a remarkable list of names from world literature including 2019 international book prize winner Jokha Alharti, Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov, Tamil author and poet Perumal Morgan, Japanese poet Hiromi Ito, American essayist, and spiritualist Eliot Weinberger, Indonesian literary icons Goenawan Mohamad, and Sapardi Djoko Damano. Dijboutian-Film and the EBRD literature prize winner Hamid Ismailov.
The list at home includes Saras Manickam, Asian area recipient of the Commonwealth Shorter Story Award, Ng Kim Chew, a Taiwanese-based author and teacher, and films writer and Nam Rons, novelist Hanna Alkaf, Bernice Chauly, author and former director of the GTLF, and Iban poet Kulleh Grasi, singer and songwriter and cultural activist.
Whether you are a casual reader or a serious literary enthusiast, the GTLF, which will launch on Nov 21, is definitely a great thing to look forward to. The country's ninth-largest literary festival has four days of seminars, workshops, and activities for its ninth year. Not to mention film series, food conferences and a marathon of poetry.
Last year, 6,000 people attended GTLF, which is ample evidence of the success of literature events.
"Malaysia is linguistically and practically a very complex place. So we want the GTLF to be a place to discover Malaysian literature in every way it is in all its dimensions," says Pauline Fan who, alongside Sharaad Kuttan, was co-director of the GTLF 2019.
A maximum of 80 participants from more than 20 countries will participate in over 80 GTLF 2019 activities.
"Forewords/afterwords" is the subject of this annual festival and focuses on the themes of beginnings and changes, with a strong focus on history.
The theme is perfect for this year, says Fan, as in 2019 several historical events, including the centennial of the First World War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, are remembered.
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