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February 19, 2020

KLF’s 11th edition to host over 200 speakers

Karachi

February 19, 2020

The 11th edition of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), which will take place at the Beach Luxury hotel on February 28, February 29 and March 1, will host over 80 sessions featuring talks on literature and politics, book launches and art performances.

The announcement to this effect was made on Tuesday afternoon by Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan Managing Director Arshad Saeed Husain as he addressed a news conference at the Arts Council.

Husain said OUP had founded KLF a decade ago to promote literature in Pakistan and bring local and international writers together to have discourse on various issues. This year’s edition will especially focus on the theme of universality of literature and how the written word transcends borders.

A panel of distinguished names helped them finalise the sessions of the event. They included Muneeza Shamsie, Bina Shah, Iftikhar Arif, Harris Khalique, Mujahid Barelvi and British Council Sindh and Balochistan Director Michael Houlgate.

More than 200 speakers will participate in this year’s KLF, and 14 of them will represent foreign countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. The foreign speakers scheduled to speak at the festival include Claire Chambers, Sean Pue, Bettina Robotka, Victoria Schofield and Alexandre Colliex.

The event will be inaugurated at 4:30pm on Friday, February 28. The keynote speakers at the opening ceremony will be Pakistani fiction writer Zaheda Hina and Scottish historian William Dalrymple.

The keynote speeches at the closing ceremony on Sunday, March 1 will be delivered by poet and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Secretary General Khalique, and author Ahdaf Soueif, who is also the founder of the Palestinian Festival of Literature.

A total of five prizes will be given to authors at KLF, including one each for the best book in the Sindhi and Balochi languages, which will be awarded by the Arts Council. The festival will also feature Mushairas — not only in Urdu but in English as well.

Other speakers who briefly addressed the news conference included Muneeza and Arts Council Karachi President Ahmed Shah. One of the things Muneeza really likes about KLF is that many people also bring along their children with them.

Such events, she said, create excitement in children about books and literature, and they are then likely to develop the habit of reading. Shah said that being the first literature festival of Pakistan, KLF is a significant annual event and that is why the Arts Council has also been a part of it. He hoped that the 11th edition would be greater than the last one.