A few more pics from the Ubud Writers' and Readers' Festival.
The wonderful Anita Desai with festival organiser Janet de Neefe.
One of the biggest names of the festival, historian William Darlymple who gave a fascinating slide presentation based on his book The White Mughals.
Madhur Jaffrey. I owe her such a debt of gratitude for some of my favourite recipes ...
Dina again. This time with "emerging writers" Vira Safitri and Singaporean poet Yong Shu Hoong in a panel discussion entitled On the Pulse. The moderator for the session is a dynamic lady called Irina Dunn who is Executive Director of the NSW Writers' Centre. (When I googled Irina's name I discovered that she was the coiner of the infamous phrase so beloved of feminists "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle".)
The three of them ...
Shu Hoong again. This time snapped at the Brazilian Beats evening event (billed as "a wild night of poetry, music and dancing" tho' we weren't wild!) where he read. I was so happy to have the chance to chat to Shu Hoong because the last time we came across each other during the KL Litfest, I was too stressed to be coherent! Shu Hoong has given up his day job in banking for a freelance writing career, and I really wish him luck.
Elmo Jayawardena. When he's not winning awards for his fiction (The Last Kingdom of Sinhalay and Sam's Story) he's flying 747's for Singapore Airlines! he is also the founder/president of AFLAC (Association for Lighting a Candle), a humanitarian organization working to alleviate poverty in Sri Lanka.
Kunal Basu juggles being a fellow in Strategic Marketing at Oxford University and writing historical novels - The Opium Clerk, The Minaturist , and more recently Racists.
A blog friend moves into real life! Here's the dynamic Deepika Shetty of Channel News Asia. Her knowledge and enthusiasm about books and writers made her the perfect moderator.
Artist/photographer/poet and tango dancer, Vietnamese-born Mong Lan is an incredibly talented lady. I moderated her session with another artist/poet Amol Titus.
C.S.Lakshmi writes her short stories as Ambai and is one of the most important fiction writers in Tamil. I am enjoying A Purple Sea, the only collection so far to be translated into English. She is also an independent researcher into Women's Studies and is the director of SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for research on Women).
Shauna Singh Baldwin (left) is the highly acclaimed author of What the Body Remembers and The Tiger Claw. Gail Jones was longlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize for Sixty Lights. The discussion between these two novelists was one of the events I enjoyed most during the festival.
Festival organisers get together to spill the beans about what goes on behind the scenes. (Manifold tales of writerly drunkeness, debauchery and prima donnaness! Very funny!) From left - Nury Vittachi, organiser of the Hong Kong Literary Festival, Byron Bay Writers' Festival Director Jill Eddington, Janet de Neefe, and moderator Deepika Shetty.
Will be writing about some of these events and writers and more in the coming weeks, as the notebook pages slowly get deciphered and transcribed!