Dubai, 27 July, 2015: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has announced a brand new list of authors appearing at its 2016 Festival which will take place 8-12 March. The initial list of 12 released in June successfully drummed up a great deal of excitement and organisers confirmed that the monthly announcements will continue up until the launch in October of this year.
‘The official launch of the 2016 Festival will be in October and our author list to date is looking incredible, with more than 100 writers already confirmed,’ Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said. ‘Our intention from the very first Festival has been to cater to a wide audience and a diverse range of interests and in 2016 we will certainly be doing that! We are especially excited that so many of our authors are award-winners and we are convinced that their inspirational engagement with large numbers of festival-goers each year is the reason we have taken home Best Festival in the Middle East Event Awards for the third time. It has been challenging to select just twelve names to share with everyone from an incredible list for 2016!’
Ann Cleeves, author of the immensely popular Vera Stanhope and Shetland crime series of books, both of which have been adapted to successful television shows, will be attending for the first time; as will Helen Dunmore, award-winning poet and writer of A Spell of Winter and The Lie; and Freya North, bestselling author of numerous novels including The Way Back Home.
The history and travel strands at the Festival have always attracted huge audiences and 2016 promises to be no different with John McHugo, Arabist and author of the critically-acclaimed A Concise History of the Arabs making his first appearance at the Festival. Renowned historian John Man, also a new arrival to the Festival, has brought Genghis Khan to life through his books on China and Mongolia and 2015 Ondaatje Prize winner, Justin Marozzi, will be here to discuss his book Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.
The 2016 Festival will also feature a particularly strong Arabic segment with Egyptian scholar and author of the IPAF-winning novel Azazeel, Youssef Ziedan, and Hoda Barakat, Lebanese novelist and winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her book The Tiller of Waters. The organisers are especially pleased to welcome Marilyn Booth, Professor of the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at Oxford University, UK, translator of Hoda Barakat’s works as well as author of a number of books with a focus on the Arab World.
Science-fiction and fantasy children’s author Garth Nix will return to the Festival to talk about his recently released novella, To Hold the Bridge. One of the region’s favourite children’s authors, Emirati writer Maitha Al Khayat, also returns this year. Chris Haughton, the award-winning children’s author of Oh no, George and Shh! We Have a Plan will join the illustrious line-up of children’s authors in 2016.
‘The Education Day college and school visits are vital to the vision of the Festival’ said Abulhoul. ‘I can’t wait to see the looks on students’ faces when they welcome these inspirational writers to their schools and colleges. Every year those students, in large numbers, are encouraged to read more, to write creatively, and get excited about that wonderful affordable cultural object – a book.’
The Festival continues to grow with ambitious plans for its eighth year and has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in Dubai, the Emirates and the wider region.
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