The eighth Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will be held on 10, 11, and 12 February 2017 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. KLF brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in diverse languages. The festival will feature talks, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English and Urdu mushaira, stand-up comedy, author signings, performing arts, art exhibition, film screenings, art strand, book fair, literary awards, and a food court.
This was announced by Ameena Saiyid OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Co-founder, Children’s Literature Festival, at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club. She gave an overview of the four prizes instituted by KLF in collaboration with corporate entities and foreign missions. These annual prizes are awarded to books in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, peace, and Urdu. The books are assessed by panels of juries comprising Pakistani academics, critics, and writers.
The KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize of Rs 300,000 goes to the best non-fiction book originally written in English by a Pakistani or Pakistan-origin foreign national. The books long listed for this prize include Sleepwalking to Surrender by Khaled Ahmad, Surkh Salam by Kamran Asdar Ali, A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia by Manan Ahmed Asif, A History of the Judiciary in Pakistan by Hamid Khan, The Raj at War by Yasmin Khan, and Lahore: History and Architecture of Moghul Monuments by Anjum Rahmani.
The KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize goes to the best fiction written originally in English. The author (a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national) of the best novel or short story collection will be awarded Rs 300,000. The long list of books announced for this prize includes The Spinner’s Tale by Omar Shahid Hamid, Dear Yasmeen by Sophia Khan, The Warehouse by S.S. Mausoof, Daddy’s Boy by Shandana Minhas, The Place of Shining Light by Nazneen Sheikh, and Karachi Raj by Anis Shivani.
The KLF Peace Prize of 3000 euros is a joint project of Consulate General of Germany in Karachi and the Karachi Literature Festival. It awards a fiction or non-fiction book that promotes peace, tolerance, and international understanding, written by a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national, or any foreign national residing in Pakistan. The books long listed for the Peace Prize are Water in the Wilderness by Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib, Masculinity, Sexuality, and Illegal Migration by Ali Nobil Ahmad, Love and Revolution: Faiz Ahmed Faiz by Ali Madeeh Hashmi, Purifying the Land of the Pure by Farahnaz Ispahani, Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic Transition by Raza Rumi, The Secrets on the War on Al-Qaeda by Aizaz Syed, and The Footprints of Partition by Anam Zakaria.
The KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize goes to the best book in Urdu. The prize of Rs 200,000 will be given to a book of prose or poetry. The long-listed books include Kutub aur Kutubkhanon ki Tareekh by Ashraf Ali, Mehr e Darakhshan by Muhammad Hamza Faruqi, Kulliyaat by Sarwat Hussain, Urdu Adab ki Tashkeel e Jadeed by Nasir Abbas Nayyar, and Dahshat mein Muhabbat by Muhammad Hameed Shahid.
The Italy Reads Pakistan Award is a joint project of Metropoli d’Asia, Karachi Literature Festival, and the Consulate of Italy in Karachi. A local jury of three judges has shortlisted five works (novels written in English and Urdu by Pakistani nationals) and an Italian jury of three judges selected by Metropoli d’Asia will select the winner who will be announced at the next Karachi Literature Festival. The prize consists of the translation and publication of the book in Italian by Metropoli d’Asia.
“The annual Karachi Literature Festival is about the promotion of reading, writing, and authors, and of bringing enrichment to people’s minds. With participants and visitors from all over the country, this is truly an all-Pakistan event. More so, with participants from different countries around the world, it is truly an international event. As always the entry to the event will be free,” said Asif Farrukhi, Co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.