Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Theme #2: South Asian

Manchester Literature Festival Director Cathy Bolton continues our series in which MLF staff members pick out their favourite themes running through the fortnight-long programme in October.

I’m always drawn to literature that provides empathetic insights into unfamiliar cultures and landscapes and, after my visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival earlier this year (which you can read more about here), I’m particularly excited about our series of events showcasing South Asian writers.

Sunday 16 October has two events featuring women writers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: Tahmima Anam and Dipika Rai, in conversation with The Guardian's literary editor Claire Armitstead, then Kishwar Desai and Moni Mohsin, in conversation with journalist Anita Sethi (1pm and 2.30pm, Manchester Town Hall - these events are £5/£3 concs each or you can take advantage of our special 241 ticket offer and get tickets for both events for just £5/£3 concessions by phoning 0843 208 0500 and quoting "MLF 241" at the time of booking). These are followed the next day by Navtej Sarna and Shrabani Basu (6pm, Waterstone's Deansgate, £5/£3 concs; available for groups of four or more at the special rate of £3 per ticket).

I’m intrigued to know how these six authors manage to weave reflections on complex moral and political issues into entertaining, character-driven stories. All three events promise to be really interesting.

For a flavour of what to expect, you can hear Tahmima Anam talk about her novel The Good Muslim here.

For full details of all events at MLF 2011 and how to book, visit the website at

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