Dubai lit fest

Fancy popping along to the Festival of Literature? Of course you do, here's on and when?

The Knowledge
Rachel Billington
Rachel Billington
Samuel Shimon
Samuel Shimon
Fadhil Al Azzawi
Fadhil Al Azzawi
Kate Adie
Kate Adie
Chimamanda Adichie
Chimamanda Adichie
Anita Amirezzvani
Anita Amirezzvani
Alexander Maitland
Alexander Maitland
Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt
Jung Chang
Jung Chang
Rajaa Alsanea
Rajaa Alsanea
Anita Nair
Anita Nair
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Kate Mosse
Kate Mosse
Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter
Victoria Hislop
Victoria Hislop
1/16
Here's what's on at The Madinat over the coming days...
Day 1, Thursday 26

Glittering Prizes: The Impact of Literary Prizes on Writers & Readers
An expert panel, including Rachel Billington, discuss the impact of literary prizes. Do judges make the right choices? Can it lead to undue pressure on writers? And how does that affect the books readers have to choose from? 3pm-4.30pm

Literature Knows No Frontiers: The Effect of the Internet on Arabic Literature

Well-known Saudi journalist and bestselling writer Turki al-Dakhil and Iraqi author and journalist Shakir Noori discuss how the internet is opening up new opportunities for budding Arab authors. Samuel Shimon (pictured), founder of Arabic literary site www.kikah.com, also weighs in. 3.30pm-5pm

The Arab Novel
Is there such a thing as an ‘Arab novel’, or do cross-cultural influences make that impossible? Novelists Ibrahim al-Koni, Gamal al-Ghitani and Fadhil al-Azzawi discuss. 5.30pm-7pm

Kate Adie: Risking All
British journalist Kate Adie has racked up field reports from some of the world’s most dangerous war zones, including the Rwandan genocide and the Gulf war. She discusses her new book, Into Danger, exploring those people who put themselves in danger on a daily basis. You could also ask her which is more painful – being grazed by bullets or supporting Sunderland FC (she has experience of both). 5.30pm-7pm

Chimamanda Adichie
Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie is a star of the literary scene, having won both the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction for epic novel Half Of A Yellow Sun and a $500,000 2008 MacArthur Foundation fellowship award (popularly known as ‘genius grants’). Get her. She talks about being influenced by Africa’s troubled past. 7.30pm-9pm

Anita Amirezzvani: In Conversation
Born in Tehran but raised in San Francisco, Anita Amirezzvani went back to Iran in 1979, the year of revolution. She writes novels that offer a more rounded view of Iran than that often seen in the news. Today she talks about her inspirations. 7.30pm-9pm

Day 2, Friday 27

Terry Brooks: Why I Write about Elves
The second biggest fantasy writer after JK Rowling, Terry Brooks discusses why he writes about elves and why he thinks so many people love reading about them. 11am-12.30pm Alexander Maitland: The Travel Writings of Wilfred Thesiger Born in 1910, Wilfred Thesiger was one of the most celebrated adventurers of his generation, exploring the Middle East on foot or by camel. His authorised biographer, Alexander Maitland, knew Thesiger for 40 years before he died. See Maitland bring Thesiger to life with a selection of vivid anecdotes. 11am-12.30pm

Frank McCourt: In Conversation
Frank McCourt started out as an inspirational high school teacher in New York before rising to fame with Angela’s Ashes, his autobiographical novel about a challenging childhood in Limerick, Ireland. It may have caused controversy, but it won him a Pulitzer prize. He followed it with ‘Tis, about his days as a teacher. 2.30pm-4pm

Sir Mark Tully: India’s Unending Journey
Indian-born but British-educated, Sir Mark Tully has long been fascinated with the Subcontinent and has written various books about it, together with working as BBC Bureau Chief in India. He talks about his latest book, India’s Unending Journey. 3pm-4.30pm

Jung Chang: China Through the Eyes of Three Generations of Women
Chang’s memoir Wild Swans was banned in China but became a bestseller in two pirate editions, eventually selling 10 million copies worldwide. Her subsequent biography of Mao took 10 years to write. She shares her insights into China’s fascinating recent history. 5.30pm-7pm

Women Writing from the Arab World
Is there such a thing as Arab women’s literature as distinctive from men’s? Girls Of Riyadh author Rajaa al-Sanea , Syrian story teller Haifa Bitar, Egyptian author and lecturer Sahar al-Mougy and fellow Egyptian writer Manzoura Ez Eldin kick off this fascinating debate. 5pm-6.30pm

James Waterson: A Mongol Khan of Europe? The West’s Debt to the Knights of Islam and to the Assassins
James Waterson has written various books inspired by his travels in Iran and historical studies of Islam. He explains why the date every European should know is 1260, when the court of the Mongol Khans was defeated by the Muslim army. 5pm-6.30pm

An Evening of Arab Poetry
Four masters of Arab poetry give readings, with English translations. Featuring Iraqi Fadhil al-Azzawi, renowned Moroccan poet Mohammed Bennis , and Emiratis Nujoom al-Ghanem and Adel Khozam. 8pm-9.30pm

Day 3, Saturday 28

Anita Nair: In Conversation
The bestselling author of The Better Man, Ladies Coupe and Mistress hails from Kerala. She blends romance, mystic and cultural values in her novels, and was awarded the Women’s Achiever Award for Literature 2008. 11am-1.30pm

Kate Mosse & Victoria Hislop: In conversation with Liz Thomson
The two authors have both dominated the bestseller lists in recent years. Here in Dubai they will discuss the shared preoccupations of their fiction and reflect on the benefits or otherwise of literary prizes, in which Mosse, as co-founder of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, has a particular interest. 11am-12.30pm

Writer & Translator: Ibrahim al-Koni & Hartmut Fähndrich
Ibrahim Al-Koni is a well-known Arabic writer who won the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature, while Hartmut Fahndrich is a highly regarded translator who has translated 10 of Al-Koni’s books. They talk about Al-Koni’s novels and why more support is needed to spread Arabic literature beyond the Arab world. Midday-1.30pm

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: In Conversation
One of the world’s top intellectuals, Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote The Black Swan: The Impact Of The Highly Improbable, which predicted the world financial crisis with stunning accuracy. He is now held in such high regard that he was the star attraction at this year’s Davos meeting. 4.30pm-6pm

Louis de Bernières: In Conversation
Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières’ fourth novel, was a word-of-mouth success, which went on to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and become a major film. His most recent novel, The Partisan’s Daughter, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award 2008. 4.30pm-6pm

The Novel in Saudi Arabia
Saudi’s social issues have been tackled candidly by the novel in recent times, but the form is yet to take on politics. Here, three prominent Saudi novelists, Raja al-Sanea, Hani Nakshabandi and Youssef al-Mohaimeed, discuss where they think the Saudi novel will go next. 5.30pm-7pm

All events include a Q&A session of 30 minutes.

Books that changed my life

Kate Mosse
Four Quartets is a sequence of poems by TS Eliot. The language is beautiful, lyrical, emotional. When I go back to the battered, dog-eared pages of the edition I bought myself when I was 18, the ambition of the work continually amazes me. In every decade in my life, I have read and re-read the poems and found something new on every occasion.’

Books that changed my life

Karin Slaughter
‘The book that first made me want to be a writer is Flannery O’Connor’s short story collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. The fact that O’Connor was not just southern, but from Georgia, and had lived down the street from where I was raised as a child, gave me a sense of shared history. I was inspired by her in so many ways that I cannot begin to list them.’

Books that changed my life

Victoria Hislop
‘The book that most influenced me was Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I first read it when I was 15 and it ignited my passion for literature. It was the only novel Emily Brontë ever wrote. I sometimes dream that someone will find “the lost manuscripts of Emily Brontë”. It would be even more exciting than finding a hidden score for another Mozart piano concerto.’

It is part of plans to introduce a teaching 'permit' by 2021

The popular beach club is opening later this year Bluewaters Island

Treble your tacos every Tuesday for Dhs27

The Play House features treats, cooking classes and more

Ladies get free drinks on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

The sleek new trains will be more spacious with a swankier design

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