Just one month more before the Galle Literary Festival 2009 begins on January 28. This year, the writers’ sessions apart, the 2009 festival will include several special features, including daily workshops for aspiring writers and a sneak preview for readers on what the authors are working on next.
Architect Channa Daswatte will lead a walking tour through the changes that have taken place in Galle Fort over time, whilst a panel of experts will debate whether we have a spirit of conservation in Sri Lanka.
A children’s programme will run alongside the main festival programme, featuring the international storyteller Margaret Read Macdonald and the multiple award-winning former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo.
Activities in the children’s programme encompass music, art and the telling of tales.
This year, the festival also takes a step in the direction of supporting English education in rural schools in the Southern Province- with workshops for both teachers and students.
Meet the GLF authors
Award-winning British travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron’s books have encompassed Russia, China and Central Asia and been translated into more than twenty languages. His earliest travel books were about the Middle East but his most celebrated book was about Russia- a lone journey by car- ‘Soviet Union:
Behind the Wall’, winner of the Hawthorneden Prize and Thomas Cook Travel award. His other books include ‘The Lost Heart of Asia’ on the newly independent nations of Central Asia, ‘In Siberia’ and most recently ‘In the Shadow of the Silk Road’.
Ireland’s most famous living author, O’Brien is the author of more than 20 works of fiction including ‘Down by the River’, ‘Wild Decembers’, ‘In the Forest’ and most recently ‘The Light of Evening’.
She has also written a biography of James Joyce and her ‘Byron in Love’ will be published in January 2009. An honorary member of the American Academy of Arts, she has won the Irish PEN Lifetime Award, the European Prize for Literature and the Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin among others.
Born in County Clare, O’Brien left Ireland in the 1950’s when she eloped to London with Irish-Czech novelist Ernest Gebler. The success of her first book ‘The Country Girls’ quickly propelled her into a career in writing.