Arab Today, arab today \festival of asian literature\ literary focus on females
Last Updated : GMT 10:54:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

\'Festival of Asian Literature\' Literary focus on females

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today \'Festival of Asian Literature\' Literary focus on females

London - Arabstoday

Thirty out of 50 writers speaking at this year's Festival of Asian Literature are female, an impressive change from the London event's launch in 2007 when only two women were involved, writesHuma Qureshi.This year's Festival of Asian Literature, which opens in London later this month, has two reasons to celebrate. Not only is the festival entering its fifth year, but of 50 acclaimed writers speaking at it, 30 are women. At a time when the lack of women contributing on panels and debates is being questioned by the British media (a study by the Guardian found an alarming lack of women being asked to take part in panel discussions on radio, television and organised events), the Festival of Asian Literature appears to have redressed the balance. The director, Adrienne Loftus Parkins, says it's about time, too. "There have been notable books coming from women in Asia for a long time, and it's time we took notice." When the Festival of Asian Literature was launched in 2007, there were only two female writers involved - the Indian author Kiran Desai and the Chinese novelist Xiaolu Guo. In 2008, there were three. Now there are 30, including the Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie, the Iranian writer Kamin Mohammedi and the Vietnamese writer Kim Thuy. What's changed? Loftus Parkins says it's down to a growing interest in new female voices from across pan-Asia. "There are already several well-known, predominantly south Asian women writing in the UK, such as Kamila Shamsie and Moni Mohsin, who might be considered the forerunners of Asian feminist literature," she says. "But the difference is now, there seem to be so many new female voices from all across Asia, vibrant voices, who are getting attention, publishing books and winning awards. Of course, there have been strong women writing throughout Asia for a long time. But we are seeing more work from Asia in general, and many publishers have taken an interest in work by women." Publishing in the western world remains a largely male-dominated industry but the gender divide is more pronounced across Asia, with some critics referring to the south Asian literary scene as a "boys' club". But slowly, a shift has been taking place. Kali for Women, India's first feminist publishing house, was founded in 1984 specifically to publish and promote female writers. After it launched, a further three women's groups in Pakistan similarly dedicated themselves to publishing fiction and non-fiction produced by women. In the UK, the not-for-profit organisation Vaani was established to promote Asian women's writing - this year, it is publishing its second anthology of short stories. But it's about quality writing, not quotas, as Loftus Parkins stresses. "Despite a desire to promote Asian women writers, I didn't make a conscious effort to invite mostly women to the festival. I chose the best books, and the best moderators. It just so happened that 30 are women." The journalist Rani Singh is appearing at the festival to discuss her biography, Sonia Gandhi, and the role of women in politics in Asia. She says being a woman and of south Asian background was an "asset" for her writing the book. "My publisher was considering other male journalists as well as me when they were deciding who should write Sonia Gandhi's biography. I have a personal connection: I too am in a male-dominated industry, and like Sonia, raised two children on my own. I can feel her journey in a way that a non-south Asian man might not be able to." Roshi Fernando and Nikita Lalwani are two of the fiction writers also appearing at this year's festival. Fernando was born and raised in the UK to Sri Lankan parents, while Lalwani was born in Rajasthan and grew up in Cardiff. Both agree that there has been a definite increase in visibility of writers either from Asia or with Asian heritage. "There is more pluralism in terms of visible female voices for sure, which is a sign that the issues they are writing about are deemed to be of current interest to a mainstream audience," says Lalwani, whose second novel The Village will be published this summer. "It is a period of transition, and it does feel exciting to read work from that part of the world right now." Fernando, the author of Homesick, a collection of moving short stories about the experience of Sri Lankans living in Britain, says female Asian novelists are "tenacious", adding: "We have something new and exciting to say." But both warn of the inevitable dangers of all female, Asian writers being lumped together. "It's not possible to see Asian female writers as one homogenous mass, and each writer is very distinct from the other," says Lalwani. "Many female writers would hesitate to define themselves simply under the bracket of 'otherness'." Despite the understandable reluctance to be placed in the same box bound by virtue of culture and gender alone, Fernando suggests there is a common thread which Asian writers share."If we are to be defined as 'Asian, female writers', then perhaps what we all have in common is a more daring perspective, free of the defining principles of post-colonial writing," she says. "As women, perhaps we can use the cultural backgrounds of our parents to create a wholly new literature."

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today \festival of asian literature\ literary focus on females Arab Today, arab today \festival of asian literature\ literary focus on females

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today \festival of asian literature\ literary focus on females Arab Today, arab today \festival of asian literature\ literary focus on females

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Writing's on the wall for Trump, Zuckerberg

GMT 09:05 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Writing's on the wall for Trump, Zuckerberg
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 18:49 2017 Monday ,16 October

India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 03:59 2017 Sunday ,15 October

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday