Myanmarese dissident writer to attend Kovalam literary festSeptember 12th, 2009 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Leading Myanmarese (Burmese) dissident writer Ma Thida, novelist Shobhaa De and Christopher Pinney, who wrote the definitive “Coming of Photography to India”, will be among those participating in the second Kovalam Literary Festival in Kerala next month.
The event, successfully kicked off last year at the Taj Green Cove in Kovalam will also have its keynote address delivered by leading writer Amitav Ghosh, who wrote his first novel, “Circle of Reason”, in Kovalam.
Ghosh’s address will, however, be read out as he is scheduled to undergo a hip-replacement surgery in the US and is not in a position to attend the Oct 7-9 festival, according to the organisers.
Ma Thida, a close aide of Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Myanmarese junta but was released in 1999 after five years on humanitarian grounds. She is now with the prestigious International Writers Project at Brown University in the US. Her books include “Sunflower” and “In the Shade of an Indian Almond Tree”.
Noted actor Om Puri will also be at the festival with his wife and biographer Nandita Puri, who will read from his forthcoming biography, slated to be released in Mumbai in November.
Chandrakanta Murasingh, a leading poet in the Kokborok tribal language of Tripura, who is also a dissident voice from the northeast, will read his poetry, while South African writer Rozeena Mart will discuss apartheid.
Other writers scheduled to participate are Anuja Chauhan, Palash Mehrotra and Sanjay Srivastava, who will speak on the history of pornography in India.
Writer, academic and commentator Mukul Kesavan will deliver at the festival the fourth K.C. John Memorial lecture on “The Oddness of Indian Nationalism”.
The first Kovalam Literary Festival, supported, among others, by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, was attended by writers William Dalrymple, Patrick French, Shashi Tharoor and Tarun Tejpal.
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