On its seventh leg of journey, KLF to award Urdu fiction, non-fiction works
KARACHI: In its seventh year, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will be recognising Urdu fiction and non-fiction works for the first time.
Festival co-founder Ameena Saiyid of the Oxford University Press announced at a press conference at Arts Council on Tuesday that this is the first time they will be handing out an Urdu fiction and non-fiction award.
The annual festival is all set to kick off from February 5. This year, the literary festival promises to bring together 262 speakers, including 38 who will be flying in from outside the country. There will be 100 sessions spread over three days, ending February 7. Eight countries will be represented and 21 books will be launched. Saiyid said that an ‘Italy Reads Pakistan’ award will also be announced in which a Pakistani book will be translated into Italian and will be launched at the KLF in 2018.
Contrary to seven to eight sessions running simultaneously in the preceding years, this time only a maximum of five sessions will take place at one time, she said.
According to Saiyid, the highlights of the seventh KLF include a session on Rumi by Fehmida Riaz, several sessions on comedy, ‘Chaap Tilak: Amir Khusro’s Harvest of Folk Songs’ and ‘Abhi to Main Jawaan Hoon: A Tribute to Malika Pukhraj. Nuclear physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy and poet Fehmida Riaz will be delivering the keynote speeches at the inaugural session. For KLF co-founder and writer Asif Farrukhi, the seventh KLF is a series of seven journeys, seven heavens and seven questions that is entering its seventh phase. “Every year this journey is increasing,” he said. Commenting further he said that they have tried to make the sessions as thoughtful and as solution-oriented as possible. The shortlisted books for KLF Best Non-Fiction Book Prize include ‘Rethinking Identities in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction: Beyond 9/11‘ by Aroosa Kanwal, ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan 1947-1955′ by Yaqoob Khan Bangash and ‘Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities’ by Farahnaz Ispahani. Six books have also been shortlisted for three German Peace Prize awards.