Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Janet's Continuing Love Affair

Ubud Readers and Writers Festival director Janet de Neefe is interviewed in the Australian about her continuing love affair with Bali, the sequel she's writing to her memoir/cookbook Fragrant Rice, which will be :
... a classic tale tracing three generations of women: her Balinese mother-in-law, herself and her two daughters, centring on the traditional v the modern
and of course about the festival which this year runs from October 7 to 11 with the theme Sorrow and Joy :
Now in its sixth year, the festival will run , examining the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity. Complemented by the culinary tradition of languorous meals served in magnificent settings, the litfest will feature the customary seminars, debates, book launches, panels, performances and workshops. Debates on environmental issues and the rise of fundamentalism - touching on Islam in Indonesia, globalisation, censorship of the media, world poverty and the effects of the country's new anti-pornography law - will all be par for the course. De Neefe encourages local writers where she can and supports efforts to have Indonesian writing translated into English for publication overseas.
The line up is (as usual) amazing and (tentatively, because we all know how these things go) :
Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee, Wole Soyinka, Hari Kunzru, Ed Husain, 2007 Orange prizewinner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nuruddin Farah and Australians Geraldine Brooks and Michelle de Kretser will all be present.
I hope the publicity in Australia will pull in some much needed sponsorship money for the festival which Janet, and her husband Ketut Suardana, put a great deal of their own money into.

Want to attend the festival this year? Hint - now's a good time to book your AirAsia cheapie flight!

(Pic is a photo I took at the festival last year.)


Greenbottle said...

this writers festival sound more and more impressive from year to year. i'm just wondering based on your attendance in the past couple of years, did you see many non writers attending?

is it worthwile for non writers to attend? won't they feel out of place among these people?

it would be interesting to observe people like coetzee and soyinka. i don't think too many people will cross path with writers of these stature otherwise.

i think i may plan my work related travel to indonesia around oct this year and go and see how nobel laureates behave in bali.

Anonymous said...

off topic.

i'm finally reading The Raw Shark Texts, and it's a pretty amazing piece of fiction. imaginative, unusual, compelling, interesting, thought-provoking, utterly insane. not really loving the writing style, but the story is good.

obviously a lot of thinking and research went into conceiving the story.

Yew Gno Hoo

Amir said...

hmmm ...

Anonymous said...

How much money did she put into it?

dreamer idiot said...

Mama mia... WOW... I would be gawking starstruck...

However... from what I've heard... Coetzee, if he does choose to go, will be a pretty quiet and taciturn, as is his nature, probably even shying away from people. But to meet him in person, wow...

bibliobibuli said...

greenbottle - oh yes! a lot of folks who don't write but love books attend inc folks from reading groups in australia. this isn't a hard-going academic conference but a most enjoyable book fest with events from morning till late night covering all kinds of subjects as well as practical workshops. it would be such fun to have you there (i hope i can go again) as i'm sure you will stir things up nicely!

yew gno hoo - i want to read that too!!

yep ... coetzee would have me lose my words ... soyinka too

Anonymous said...

any book that has pages where you can flip and see an animated shark is good by me!

Ewe No Who

Lisa Lee said...

Sounds like a fun festival, seems awesome to me actually, Hehe~