New Delhi: Writings from Kashmir, fiction and otherwise, are set to be among the highlights during the annual Kovalam Literary Festival in October this year.
“Any writing that emerges from conflict zones is bound to be good and interesting and Kashmir is no exception. There have been a lot of books from the state this year and we expecting several Kashmiri authors to attend," Binoo K John, founder director of the Kovalam Literary Festival said.
A curtain-raiser of the fest that would be held in Thiruvanthapuram on October 1-2 would be organized at the India International Centre here on September 29.
The expected line-up includes Mirza Wahid "The Collaborator" and Basharat Peer among others. Wahid`s novel set in the early 1990s is about an isolated village situated near the Line of Control.
"Mohammed Hanif is expected to read from his new novel `Our Lady of Alice Bhatti`.We have also lined up Fatima Bhutto, Aamer Hussain and Shehan Karinatilake from Sri Lanka," says John.
Many authors from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also scheduled to participate in the festival that organizers are pegging as the first full fledged literary event in Delhi.
"Delhi has a lot of book launches and a very aware audience but there is no literary festival. Holding the fest here would help gain us leverage and brand the festival," says John.
All major releases of the year by authors like Arvind Adiga (Last man in Tower), Amitava Ghosh (River of Smoke) and Tarun Tejpal (The Story of My Assassins) are also expected to be available at the festival.
The day-long session in the national capital is scheduled to conclude with a music concert.
"We are still finalizing the participants which will be out by the end of this month. We would either have Sushila Raman or Delhi band Scavengers for a concert," says John.
The Kovalam literary festival, which is in its fourth edition this year, has previously hosted authors like Ali Sethi, China`s Lijia Zhang and Deborah Baker-Ghosh.
In its previous editions of the festival Burmese dissident writer Ma Thida had read from her fiction as well as Bollywood actor Om Puri had released his biography "Unlikely Hero."