New Delhi: Three major Pakistani writers and a Chinese author who has achieved global celebrity with her take on socialism are among the literary stars set to attend the third Kovalam Literary Festival in Thiruvananthapuram Oct 1-3.
Mohammed Hanif, whose "Case of Exploding Mangoes" is an international bestseller, and debut novelists Ali Sethi ("The Wish Maker") and H.M. Naqvi ("Home Boy") lead the Pakistan contingent, which will also include journalist Najam Sethi.
China`s Lijia Zhang, who is making her first appearance in India, is the author of the best selling "Socialism Is Great". A regular speaker at major literary festivals, Lijia was also a participant of the writer-in-residence programme at Switzerland`s Chateau Lagviny.
The festival will also feature a reading by Deborah Baker-Ghosh from her forthcoming book on Islam and Pakistan.
Baker-Ghosh, wife of writer Amitav Ghosh, will read from her "The Convert: A Parable of Islam and America", which will be released next year in India by Penguin.
For the first time, the Kovalam Festival, held at the Taj Kovalam and Kanakkakunnu Palace, will confer the Malayalam Emerging Writers Award. The award will be given to a young Kerala writer selected by author Paul Zachariah.
A clutch of noted Indian writers, including Basharat Peer, Manu Joseph, and graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee, will also speak at the three-day festival.
The festival is sponsored by Taj Kovalam, which will offer highly subsidised packages during the Oct 1 weekend, the Kerala government`s Department of Tourism, ICCR and publishers like Harper Collins.