The festival venue was the Arts House, a lovely Colonial bungalow that was previously Singapore's Parliament House and is now the country's premier arts and heritage venue. Located beside the Singapore river, and across from Clarke Quay, it is an excellent venue with interesting cafes and bars that line the river - for nibbles and quaffs between events! I took my daughter for a ride down the river when the 'writer's stuff' - as she put it- got to be too much :-)
Flanking the entrance to the Arts House was an enormous collage composed of front covers of books being showcased at the festival.
Now, I couldn't let go of the opportunity to pose beside the cover of my book, The Long Walk Home, could I?
The first event I participated in was titled 'Writing Historical Fiction' and moderated by Elmo Jayawardene who is an ex-airline pilot, a writer and social worker. Elmo is also a wicked wit and has recently completed a book tracing the history of Sri Lanka. I couldn't have asked for a finer moderator than him!
After the talk - Autograph time!
Some writerly schmoozing! With (from l to r)
Jayapriya Vasudevan (of Jacaranda Press), Kiran Khalap, and Shashi Warrier
Kiran Khalap is the author of three books, a travel writer and columnist, and since none of the three pay his bills, he also plays the role of a brand consultant!
Shashi Warrier began his writing career with a
juvenile fiction work The Hidden Continent
(Penguin/Puffin), and he moved on to thrillers
including Night of the Krait and The Orphan.
His latest work is The Homecoming.
Migration and Displacement: New Indian Writing
living away from India had helped us gain a better perspective in our narratives set in our hometowns.
Meira Chand is an Indian-Swiss author of eight novels, including A Far Horizon and her latest, A Different Sky. Neel Chowdhury is the author of The Inheritors and has written for Time and Fortune. Rajat Das is the author of Paper Boat and develops heuristic tools of learning.
Seated (l to r): Meira Chand, myself, Neel Chowdhury
Interacting with the audience after the event.
SCRIPT - an inaugural festival in conjunction with the Singapore Writers Festival 2009. SCRIPT 2009 celebrated writings from the Indian subcontinent in English or in translation. It is the brainchild of the dynamic duo of Jayapriya Vasudevan and Priya Doraswamy of Jacaranda Press, India's leading literary agency with a branch in Singapore
Titled 'Chaos', the panel probed if and how the chaos of the Indian subcontinent aided or detracted from the creative process.
A final photo op with panelists from 'Chaos' and the ladies from Jacaranda! Standing (l to r):
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, Priya Doraswamy, Shashi Warrier, Elmo Jayawardene, Jayapriya Vasudevan, Mohammed Hanif, Ahmede Hussein
Mohammed Hanif is the author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Ahmede Hussein is the author of Blues for Allah.
Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so did this - but what a blast while it lasted!