The 3-day Dhaka Literary Festival 2018 has begun on the grounds of Bangla Academy today.
Supported by Cultural Affairs Ministry and hosted by Bangla Academy, the three-day event this year opens on Thursday morning with Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor as chief guest.
This year’s line-up features Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson, Bengali literary icon Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Mohammed Hanif, award-winning actor Manisha Koirala, Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton, award-winning actor and director Nandita Das, winner of the Ondaatje Prize Philip Hensher, winner of the Orwell and Ondaatje prizes James Meek, Syed Manzoorul Islam, Imdadul Haq Milon, Kaiser Haq and Selina Hossain, among others.
DLF Director and Producer Sadaf Saaz said, “There will be at least 90 sessions spanning three days that would include not only literature but also art, photography exhibition, film screening and much more.” The registration is free for all, she stressed, adding women’s rights issues will remain a cornerstone this year too.
DLF Director Ahsan Akbar said, “In the west, there are many translated works available from foreign authors but no so many from Bangladeshi authors. This is the reason why we have started the Library of Bangladesh series with the help of Bengal Lights to introduce our Bengali authors to the world,” he added, referring to Dhaka Translation Center.
Three new translation titles will be launched this year, he mentioned.
Akbar also highlighted that this year the DLF would host the prestigious Cambridge Short Story Prize in addition to the Gemcon Literary Awards.
“Granta, the most prestigious English literary magazine, has become partner only with one literary festival and that is DLF. This year the Whiting Award— one of the most prestigious American awards—has also become a partner with the festival for the first time in its history,” said Ahmed.
Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune are the title sponsors of the event, with BRAC Bank Ltd as Key Sponsor. Energis is the Gold Sponsor and British Council, a Strategic Partner.
Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said: “The reason Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune are so proud to be associated with the festival is that the DLF is truly a touchstone of excellence. The fact that we can host a festival of this quality is a matter of great pride for all of us.”