Young readers in Dubai learned the secrets behind Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie at a thoroughly entertaining talk by multi-award winning children’s author David Walliams at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2015. Walliams, a well-known comedian, kept the audience, both young and not so young, entertained throughout his session as he discussed his career and the books that have made him a household name around the world.
“We have had a fantastic afternoon with David Walliams and most importantly, the young fans have enjoyed themselves,” said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “Encouraging young readers is a priority for the Festival and seeing so many children queueing up with Walliams’ books in their hands has proved that the younger generation definitely love the written word. Walliams’ appeal across ages also makes him the ideal author to start off the literary celebrations that will continue until 7th March. It is a tremendous honour and pleasure to welcome over 130 writers, illustrators and speakers representing myriad styles and genres.”
David Walliams’ session had sold out within days of going on sale. He spoke enthusiastically about his writing process, saying he often acted out characters while he was writing them, and shared what ideas had led to the development of each of his books. Walliams also dispensed writing tips to the budding writers in the audience and explained that many of his characters, including Gangsta Granny and Newsagent Raj, were inspired by people in his life. Walliams also read extracts from Awful Auntie and Gangsta Granny to the captivated thousand-strong audience before answering fans’ questions on a variety of topics.
Williams is the biggest UK children’s author to debut this century. His books have been translated into forty languages and sold over four million copies in the UK. A number of his books have also been adapted for television including Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny. Walliams’ most recent book Hippo on the Moon is currently the highest-selling picture book in the UK.
Walliams’ talk kicks off literary celebrations at the seventh Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, to be held from March 3-7 at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.
Organisers confirmed that 130 authors from over 30 countries will be in attendance during five days of literary celebration including best-selling authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Naif Al-Mutawa, Noura Al Noman, Anita Anand, Mourid Barghouti, Steve Cole, Imtiaz Dharker, Nawal El-Saadawi, Jasper Fforde, Sophie Hannah, Satoshi Kitamura, Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Oliver, Richard Parks, Ashwin Sanghi, Markus Zusak and many more.
The full author line-up, programme and tickets are available online at www.emirateslitfest.com. Tickets can also be purchased in person at WHSmith stores in Dubai Mall, Marina Mall and Oasis Centre in Dubai and Al Wahda Mall and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The Festival operates a dedicated membership scheme called Festival Friends which offers discounts on tickets as well as benefit packages.
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