Jakarta. Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan — who was in the Man Booker International longlist this year, American novelist and author of A Little Life Hanya Yanagahira, and Suki Kim, a Korean American writer best known for living undercover in North Korea for six months and surviving to tell the tale in her nonfiction bestseller Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elites, will be the star attractions of this year's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, a festival representative announced on Tuesday (19/07).
Foreign correspondent and indigenous Australia advocate Stan Grant, Sudanese-American poet Emi Mahmoud, Stella prizewinner Charlotte Wood, reigning Miss Canada Anastasia Lin, author of the novel-turned-documentary The Residue Years Mitchell S. Jackson and Indonesian icons of the arts, author and filmmaker Djenar Maesa Ayu and actor Slamet Rahardjo are some of the other notable names in the lineup.
The annual festival will take place this year on Oct 26-30 and take on the theme of "Tvat Tvam Asi" or "I am you, you are me."
“'Tvat Tvam Asi' is a powerful ideology and crucial to the collective identity of Indonesia, uniting people from incredibly diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and historical backgrounds to share common respect and understanding,” the festival stated on its website.
The usual smorgasbord of programs for which the festival is known for will appear again this year, including poetry slams, writing workshops, cooking classes and discussions with authors. The full program will be announced in August.
The festival is the brainchild of restaurateur-turn-author Janet DeNeefe, who started it in 2004 to bring visitors back to the island after the first Bali bombing in 2002. In 2014, 165 writers, artists and advocates from more than 25 countries attended the festival.
Early bird tickets of for the 2016 festival will be available at 20 percent off from July 27.
More information is available on Twitter @ubudwritersfest and the website www.ubudwritersfestival.com.