The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is back again with its eight edition with the urge to delight the crave of avid readers, to enrich the history of literature for its appreciators. KLF can be viewed as a little token of appreciation from the individuals of the society to those who offered a perspective on the unique Pakistani society and culture, and have thus contributed to the development of a thriving literary tradition in Pakistan.
“The KLF is held to celebrate the rich, ancient, and diverse cultures and literatures of Pakistan so that they flourish and bloom and make an impact by becoming accessible to a wider public,” said Ameena Saiyid OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Co-founder, Children’s Literature Festival at the inauguration ceremony of the 8th Karachi Literature Festival at Beach Luxury Hotel, today.
“KLF creates spaces where cultural and intellectual energies gain release, and knowledge and understanding, both about today’s world, ourselves, and our history and civilization, are not only disseminated but also questioned and debated critically. We are also taking the Karachi Literature Festival to London where it will be held at the Southbank Centre on 20 May 2017, to celebrate Pakistan’s culture and literature and the 70th anniversary of its creation,” she added.
Around 136 Pakistani and 40 international authors and speakers from ten countries are participating in the festival. Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Ayesha Jalal were the keynote speakers at the inauguration.
Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and intellectuals participating, both from Pakistan and abroad, some of the notable names are Adeel Hashmi, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ali Akbar Natiq, Amar Jaleel, Ahmed Rashid, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Arif Hasan, Asif Noorani, Arshad Mahmud, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Attiya Dawood, Ayesha Tammy Haq, Bina Shah, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Christina Oesterheld, Fahmida Riaz, H.M. Naqvi, Hamid Khan, Harris Khalique, Imdad Hussaini, Jamsheed Marker, Kishwar Naheed, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Masood Ashar, Mian Raza Rabbani, Mirza Waheed, Mujahid Barelvi, Nadeem F. Paracha, Nafisa Shah, Najmuddin Shaikh, Nasira Iqbal, Noor ul Huda Shah, Omar Shahid Hamid, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Roger Long, Sabyn Javeri, Salima Hashmi, Sania Saeed, Shabnam, Shazia Omar, Sheema Kermani, Shandana Minhas, Shrabani Basu, Taimur Rahman, Tina Sani, Zafar Hilaly, Victoria Schofield, Zehra Nigah, Zia Mohyeddin, and Zoe Viccaji.
The KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize of Rs 300,000 was won by The Raj at War by Yasmin Khan. The Getz Pharma Fiction Prize of Rs 300,000 was awarded to The Spinner’s Tale by Omar Shahid Hamid.
KLF Peace Prize, which is a joint project of Consulate General of Germany in Karachi and KLF, of 3000 euros was given to The Footprints of Partition by Anam Zakaria.
KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize of Rs 200,000 was awarded to Urdu Adabki Tashkeel e Jadeed by Nasir Abbas Nayyar for the best book of prose or poetry in Urdu.
“KLF is not merely a local affair. With participants and visitors from all over the country, from all four provinces and all of our major cities, this is truly an all-Pakistan event. More so, with participants from India, UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Bangladesh, and Maldives, it is truly an international event,” said Asif Farrukhi, Co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.
There are 18 book launches and more than 70 sessions. A vibrant programme, encapsulating 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, has been lined up for the festival.