Posts tagged ‘Festival of Asian Literature’

May 13, 2013

Uncool To Be “Cool”

henry-winkler-the-fonz

I was lucky enough to be invited to back-to-back events that promised to thrill. On Friday evening “British Asian Culture: Doomed to be Uncool” and Atul Kochhar on Saturday afternoon to present his “Curries of the World” new recipe book.

Why are British Asians analysing whether we are “cool” and why are we always saying “cool” in inverted comas as if to make the point that we’re not cool? Isn’t it now uncool to describe anything as cool? Like how a Fun Dad describes David Bowie.

read more »

May 8, 2013

Asia House Festival of Asian Literature

fal_banner__gallery_image

Freedom is the theme of this year’s Asia House Festival of Asian Literature, the seventh annual event. From 7-22nd May, some of Asia’s greatest literary exports will join some of the best British Asian writers and thinkers to discuss freedom in all its forms: freedom of expression, education, travel, justice, freedom to read the truth and to live in our chosen ways.

Taking place in a few venues in Central London the programme and events for adults and children is varied and wonderfully diverse.  Want to know how to get your work published in Asia or the UK? Want to see a curry demonstration from Michelin-starred chef, Atul Kochhar?

read more »

May 8, 2013

Opening Night With Michael Palin

Michael Palin John Swannell

The Asia House Festival of Asian Literature got off to a roaring start by hosting an audience with the wonderfully charming Michael Palin at the Commonwealth Club, London.

Palin was launching a new book, The Truth, excitingly his first foray into fiction. The audience, however, were keen to grill him about his travels. He handled everyone’s question with the same wit and eloquence that we are used to seeing on screen, even though surely he must have been asked some of these questions thousands of times.  Palin had us all captivated

read more »

May 4, 2013

Guest Post: Asia House Literature Festival

The Bastard of Istanbul Elif Shafak

Women, Freedom and the Islamic World

The diversity and eloquence of this all-female panel gave a fascinating insight into what female freedom means in Muslim states today

By Hannah Thompson

Asia House is no stranger to distinguished figures discussing complex issues, and this, the second event in this year’s Festival of Asian Literature, was no exception.

Although technically a pre-event (the festival proper begins on May 7th, with guest Michael Palin, no less) the guests were just as renowned and the topic just as wide as if a central element of the festival itself. Women, freedom and the Islamic world – one could hardly have chosen a more expansive, nebulous discussion, and yet the writers on the panel addressed the idea with characteristic thoughtfulness and poise.

asia_house_logo

Chaired and led by journalist and presenter Samira Ahmed, the panel included Turkish author Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul; Honour), Iraqi political activist and author Haifa Zangana (Dreaming of Baghdad) and Iranian journalist and self-professed “memoirist” Kamin Mohammadi (The Cypress Tree).

read more »