The second announcement of invited participants in the forthcoming Fairway Galle Literary Festival, includes individuals from a wide range of literary pursuits; actresses, writers of fiction and of memoir, lawyers, diplomats, journalists, editors, performance poets, curators, architects, historians and economists. The Festival, now in its ninth year, takes place by virtue of the generous sponsorship of the title sponsor Fairway Holdings, setting an example of corporate leadership in the promotion of the Arts. This is the third occasion on which Fairway Holdings is providing the title sponsorship of the Festival.
The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 welcomes Dame Maggie Smith, who scarcely requires any introduction; she is one of the finest actresses of her generation, an achievement she wears lightly and with a grace quite belying the storied trappings of fame. She has been a star of the stage and screen for many years and at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival would like to explore the skills of comedy acting. After her roles in The Lady in the Van, Downton Abbey, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Harry Potter, The Exotic Marigold Hotel and many another, she is ideally qualified to do so.
Sir Desmond de Silva’s biographical piece ‘Madam, Where Are Your Mangoes?’ sold out within minutes of its launch in London just weeks ago. One reason for this was his very considerable talent as a speaker: witty, urbane and accomplished, his solo performance ‘Desmond Uninterrupted’ promises to be one of the most sought after events of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival. Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane’s presentation of three murder cases will afford the audience a nuanced appreciation of the human complexities of the judicial system, and of the challenge of balancing a concern for victims with society’s desire for closure. A familiar figure in Sri Lanka, former High Commissioner Nirupama Menon Rao, who went on to become Foreign Secretary of India, will read from and speak about her new book on Sino-Indian relations, while Kiryl Rudy will delve into behavior economics and the nudge theory, currently in the forefront of international economic discourse. History will be brought to life by Nisid Hajari, author of ‘Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition’, winner of the 2016 Colby Award.
Visiting journalists Justine Picardine and Rachael Johnson will bring their wide experience of journalism and editing to the FGLF 2018, while Australian Sallyanne Atkinson will share her experience as the first female Lord-Mayor of Sydney. Sallyanne grew up in Colombo on a tea-planter’s estate her experience of this distinctive lifestyle.
Two hundred years and two months since the remarkable English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his seminal ‘Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’, The Reverend Doctor Malcolm Guite, Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge, will share the insights of his new study of Coleridge’s famous narrative poem, revealing the remarkable continuing freshness and relevance of the mariner’s message, so very long after Coleridge so memorably gave voice to it.
Environmental architect Sunela Jayawardene’s travelogue ‘Line of Lanka’ also explores the oral tradition in history and story-telling, deftly chronicling its impact on archaeology. Udeni Samarasekara will offer her take on the oral tradition in literature in a session entitled ‘Literature Without Words’. The spoken word artist Laurence Boissier will share her original oral work combining language and dialect. She will also read from her first novel, ‘Rentre de Classes’. Her visit is made possible by the generous cultural partnership of Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council.
German writer Michael Kumpfmüller joins us through the gracious sponsorship of cultural partner the Goethe-Institut and will read from and speak about his exquisitely written novel based on the last year in the life of Franz Kafka. ‘The Glory of Life’, the events of which take place in 1924, the same year as the Olympics on which ‘Chariots of Fire’ is based, is a stunning testimony to the ordinariness of true beauty, and of how much closer to our reach it maybe than we so often think. Like Maylis de Kerangal, whose visit is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Alliance Française de Kotte, Michael will also conduct writing workshops. South African writers Calvyn Gilfellan whose visit is sponsored and facilitated by the High Commission for South Africa will also revisit the past by exploring the Dutch Fort of South Africa and exploring the redemptive possibilities of previously oppressive spaces.
Performance is an important part of the Festival, and the celebrated contemporary Bangladeshi band Chirkutt, brought by the High Commission for Bangladesh, will perform twice during the Festival, as will performance poet Carlos Andres Gomes. The participation of the piano duet of Ivana Alkovic and Maarten den Hengst has been made possible by the Dutch Embassy.
The Festival includes two important programmes which very considerably widen the scope of the Festival’s reach. These are The Children’s Outreach Programme which will this year be sponsored by the American Embassy and the North-South Programme sponsored by the German Embassy. The Fairway Galle Literary Festival is deeply grateful to these two sponsors for their generous facilitation of these important social initiatives.
The full list of the second announcement of authors
Louis de Bernières
Sir Desmond de Silva
Carlos Andres Gomes
The Reverend Doctor Malcolm Guite
Michael Roc Thomas
Dame Maggie Smith
Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane