Last year's wildly successful Ubud Writers & Readers Festival played host to a number of celebrated writers including Michael Ondaatje, Amitav Ghosh, Xanana Gusmao, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Putu Wijaya and Shaun Tan – each exploring from their perspective the theme "Between Worlds." This year's Festival has adopted the theme "Desa-Kala-Patra: Place-Time-Identity" inviting another exciting line-up of authors from all over the world.
In 2006, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will spotlight brave, new writers who have dared to challenge and expose the ways of the world in which we live. Invited writers include Orhan Pamuk - one of Turkey's most notable literary figures, who will discuss the responsibility of the writer in today’s world. Su Tong, of Raise the Red Lantern fame, will turn the light on China, the world's most populated country, and discuss his inspiration and challenges in writing and film-making. Ziauddin Sadar will discuss the Islamic identity and the new fundamentalists. William Dalrymple will share his stories of researching the White Moghuls and the days of the Raj in India. Foreign correspondent, Eric Campbell, will give you an Absurdistan account of how he's been stoned by the Taliban, wounded by a suicide bomber, and arrested and drugged in some of the most dysfunctional places on earth.
Bali's Indian neighbors are expected to steal the show with a line up of young stars. Suketu Mehta will take participants on an unforgettable journey through the crowded streets of Bombay with his award-winning Maximum City. Kunal Basu will reveal the secrets of a bizarre racial experiment on a remote African island, from his latest book, The Racists. Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka fame will wrap listeners up in the Alchemy of Desire and Rana Dasgupta will spin a tale of Tokyo, travel and undisputed fate. From across the seas in Canada, Shauna Singh Baldwin will pick up the threads with her story of identity and displacement and Indian-Fijian, Shalini Akhil, will add pepper and spice to the narrative.
Award-winning Sri Lankan writers, Romesh Gunesekara, Nihal de Silva and Elmo Jayawardena will shed light on the days of civil war and the rebuilding of Sri Lanka. The Festival's line-up of intrepid travel writers will bring participants to the departure lounge of adventure and share their stories of discovery and the importance of place. Poets from all over the world will startle, sing, beat-box, recite, shout and add inspiration to four unforgettable days of literary wonder.
According to organizers, the new faces of Indonesia will be celebrated alongside Indonesia's most exciting thinkers and writers. This year's hot topics will include the censorship and pornography reform laws of Indonesia and the concept of "Islamaphobia."
And, as with past festivals, days of discussion will drift into nights of hilarious entertainment – all part of the Balinese hospitality for which the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is becoming world famous.
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