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Katunayake, Sri Lanka, 2009/12/30 - The 4th Galle Literary Festival, an established feature of the international literary calendar, is being held at Galle, Sri Lanka on 28th January. Several noted literary figures like Ian Rankin, Sarnath Banerjee, Gillian Slovo and Wendy.
Now an established feature of the international literary calendar, the Galle Literary Festival continues to evolve and explore new ground. In 2010, the celebrated detective writer Ian Rankin will bring crime writing into the Festival’s repertoire while the sensational new graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee will teach us how to make our own comic books.
Novelist Gillian Slovo will speak about growing up in the South Africa of Apartheid, her work bringing the experiences of Guantanamo Bay inmates to the stage and her latest novel, set in Sri Lanka. Poets Wendy Cope and Jackie Kay will give us an afternoon of witty poetry over tea. Gratiaen winner Shehan Karunatilaka will speak about his novel in manuscript and iconic children’s writer Sybil Wettasinghe will recall her own childhood near Galle. Celebrated historian Antony Beevor will speak about the rise of conspiracy theories in history while playwright and novelist Michael Frayn comments on the role of fiction in shaping history. The Festival is delighted to feature hotly-tipped young South Asian novelists in 2010, among them Mohammed Hanif, Rana Dasgupta and Amit Varma, and of course Sri Lanka’s own Michelle de Kretser, Shyam Selvadurai and Ru Freeman. Festival Director Sunila Galappatti says ‘we are unusually proud of the upcoming Galle Literary Festival, for bringing together writers and artists who can speak from their own unusual experiences and perspectives about the very things that interest and concern us today’.
This year, alongside our writers the Festival will feature exemplary performance artists from Sri Lanka. The Chamber Music Society of Colombo returns by popular demand to give a special concert in the Dutch Reformed Church in Galle, including the world premiere of a new composition by its resident composer Stephen Allen. The Festival is also delighted to announce two special performances to be given at the Festival by the Ravibandu Vidyapati Drum Ensemble and the Chitrasena Dance Company.
For the first time in 2010 the Festival will also run a dedicated day of events for 100 students from Galle schools, so that they may benefit from the international literary festival on their doorstep. This day will be the culmination of an outreach programme that the Festival has run throughout 2009, in both urban and rural schools in Galle and Matara. Aimed at promoting creative reading and writing in Sri Lanka’s next generation of writers, this programme has included reading days and writing workshops, run by writers, dramatists and university academics for both students and teachers of 25 schools. The Festival has been supported in this programme by the charity Adopt Sri Lanka which has sustained relationships with these schools. This year the Festival will also be introducing discounted tickets for teachers and more free events at the Festival, to allow greater access to those to whom it may be of particular interest.
Sunila Galappatti says, ‘the new features of the Galle Literary Festival – our outreach programme and our showcasing of Sri Lankan performers – are subjects close to the Festival’s heart.’
Hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, with Sri Lankan Airlines as Festival Carrier, the Festival draws writers and visitors from all over the world for a long weekend of conversation and debate, alongside writing workshops, heritage tours and gourmet dining events in and around Galle Fort. In 2009, over 3000 visitors from Sri Lanka and abroad came together in Galle for the Festival. Travel writer Pico Iyer said of his time at the Festival, ‘Lush tropical gardens, a mysterious walled city unique in Asia, long lunches with literary superstars and huge crowds of readers from across the globe: is it any wonder that every writer longs for an invitation to the Galle Literary Festival, already one of the literary jewels in Asia's crown?'.
The Galle Literary Festival (galleliteraryfestival.com) is brought to you once again by a collective of generous sponsors. We are grateful to the support of our Platinum Sponsors, the British Council, and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Embassy of Norway and the Jetwing Lighthouse as well as to our Gold Sponsors, Amangalla, The American Centre, B Sharp, Dilmah, Emirates, ETV, Printcare, The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times. For a full list of all sponsors and more information on the Festival.
The Festival programme will be also be released online by 20 December 2009.
For further information, contact Menika van der Poorten: +94 (0) 777 899 154