Dubai, 15 June, 2015: In an unprecedented move, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has released the names of 12 authors who will be attending the 2016 Festival ahead of the announcement of the final line up in October. Over the coming months, more names will follow as the excitement builds to a crescendo.
‘At our inaugural Festival in 2009, we had a total of 65 authors participating,’ said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. ‘But today, with our eighth Festival still another eight months away, we already have more than 65 authors confirmed. The popularity and esteem in which the Festival is held is most heartening. Authors who have attended previously have become ambassadors, spreading the word across the four corners of the globe.
‘With the tremendous support and guidance of our title sponsor Emirates Airline and our partners Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, we have built on our solid foundations and remained true to the original vision which came from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, our Patron. The Emirates Literature Foundation, under the Chairmanship of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been able to keep a strong focus on attracting young people to attend, and highlighting the Arabic segment of the huge international programme,’ she concluded.
Literary enthusiasts will be particularly excited to learn that Helen MacDonald, winner of the 2014 Costa Book Award for her bestselling book H is for Hawk, will be here. Acclaimed British personalities, including UK’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, philosopher A.C. Grayling, and Professor Tim Spector, author ofIdentically Different and the best-selling The Diet Myth, will also be flying in.
Festival favourite crime writer Ian Rankin will be returning with another Detective Rebus mystery, while Anthony Horowitz, a prolific author who has turned his hand to write the latest James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, is also very popular with younger festival-goers who are fans of his ‘Alex Rider’ series.
2016 will also feature Suad Amiry, author of Sharon and my Mother-in-Law and Nothing to Lose But Your Life: An 18-Hour Journey with Murad, and Anchee Min, celebrated author of best-selling memoirs and historical novels about China.
At the heart of the Festival has always been its children’s programme. The Festival can confirm that Petr Horacek, paper engineer and illustrator of numerous children’s books including The Mouse Who Ate the Moon and the recent A Surprise for Tiny Mouse, will be one of the many children’s authors coming to Dubai in 2016. Lebanese children’s author and founding member of the HUNNA writers’ group, Sahar Naja Mahfouz is also set to return with her latest book Laytani Akul Laa.
‘So, that is the first group of names,’ said Isobel Abulhoul. ‘Why twelve you may ask? The theme for 2016 is ‘Time’, so twelve made perfect sense! Shortly, the Festival will release the next twelve names of attending writers, who will be here from 8th to 12th March 2016.’
The Festival aims to foster a love of reading in the Emirates. With its continued success, it has encouraged and increased the numbers of readers and writers, and is fast becoming one of the key global literary events on the annual calendar.
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