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Suka Duka: Compassion & Solidarity

Ubud Writers and Readers Picks Theme for Sixth Festival October 7-11, 2009.

(1/24/2009) Rated by Harper's Magazine as among the six top literary events in the world - Ubud Writers and Readers Festival returns to the hills of Ubud for its sixth running October 7-11, 2009.

Founder and force-behind-the-event, Janet de Neefe, confirms that writers are being invited, budgets being prepared and sponsors sought for what has become a major event on the literati calendar.

Last year's event drew record numbers of audience members who flocked to Ubud to participate in more than 50 events led by more than 100 writers. In all, some 43 intimate venues across Ubud were employed for panel sessions, book launches, performances, readings and literary lunches. Among the more popular events was a filled-to-capacity "conversation session" at the Neka Museum led by Vikram Seth that drew an audience of nearly four hundred readers and writers, who listened ardently to Seth chat jovially about his life growing up in India.

Suka-Duka: Compassion & Solidarity

The 2009 theme Suka-Duka: Compassion & Solidarity is an Indonesian philosophy that translates as the togetherness or mutual help in joy and suffering. In 2009, the enduring power of the human spirit over suffering and hardship will be explored alongside stories that have changed lives and tales of profound wisdom. Environmental issues and the rise of fundamentalism will be further debated with globalization, censorship of media and world poverty. The art of storytelling will be celebrated together with discussions on writing about travel, food, poetry and song.

This year's Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will continue its culinary tradition via visiting chefs descending on the kitchens of some of Ubud's hotels and resorts. They will join forces with leading literary stars to present the kind of languorous lunches and dinners for which the Ubud festival has become famous.

Among those invited to participate this year are Nobel Prize winners J.M. Coetzee and Wole Soyinka; Kate Grenville, Abdourahman Waberi, Mohammed Hanif, Laura Esquivel and Hari Kunzru.

[Ubud Readers and Writers Festival Website]