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Mon, 09/02/2013 - 12:47
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Singapore Writers Festival Returns In November

SINGAPORE, Sept 2 (Bernama) -- The 16th edition of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) returns with the theme of Utopia/Dystopia, through popular genres such as fantasy and crime, with panel discussions exploring the tensions in binaries such as love-hate, war-peace and imagination-reality. Apart from writers from the popular genres, the Festival’s highlights include Britain’s first female Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, well-known philosopher AC Grayling, and Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian, who will premiere his documentary film, Requiem For Beauty, at the Festival. The Festival is set to transform the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct into a lively multi-lingual literary exchange, from Nov 1 to 10, with an exciting line-up of more than 190 Singapore and international writers. Fuelling further discussion on this year’s Festival theme, the programme line-up features leading non-fiction writers such as Jung Chang, author of the critically acclaimed Wild Swans, and Fatima Bhutto, a Pakistani fiction writer and granddaughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Also in the line-up will be Lucy Hawking, popular young adult fiction writer and daughter of physicist Stephen Hawking, and best-selling crime fiction writer Peter James. Speaking ahead of the event, SWF director, Paul Tan said, “We have a rich offering of programmes this year, including a focus on crime writing and themes of violence and war, which all shine a light on the darker side of humanity. There are other aspects of the Festival which we think will surprise audiences – a strong Nordic regional focus, children’s activities in Singapore’s four official languages, storytelling for adults in a pub and even “guerrilla” literary performances around Singapore Biennale installations, among others, he said in a statement. This celebration of Singapore’s multi-lingual heritage will extend to our annual Literary Pioneer showcase – this year, the SWF will cast the spotlight on Thamizhavel G. Sarangapani, founder of Tamil newspaper Tamil Murasu. A panel discussion on Malaysia Boleh?, featuring: Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, Barbara Ismail, Sunil Nair and moderated by Khor Kok Wah will be held on Nov 2. For this panel discussion, different writers hold a magnifying glass on Singapore's Malaysian neighbours and, through the written word, explore the country’s varied socio-cultural landscape, as well as its people’s anxieties and resilient strengths. SWF is one of Asia’s premier literary events organised by the National Arts council. Inaugurated in 1986, the festival promotes new and emerging Singaporean and Asian writing to an international audience, as well as presents the world’s major literary talents to Singaporeans. -- BERNAMA