Thursday, August 18, 2011

Celebrating literature in Nepal

Two literature festivals in Kathmandu over the next month will help to spread the love of literature in Nepal.

Over the next 30 days, Kathmandu will see not one but two literary festivals. This Thursday, 18 August, is the date of the launch of the Nepal Literature Festival, being held at Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur. It will feature 61 writers, including Ira Trivedi from India and Mark Tully from the UK. Within a month of its end on 21 August, another literary festival is set to begin in nearby historical Patan Durbar Square, from 16-18 September. With 30 national, including those who write in Newari, and 10 international writers so far, the Kathmandu Literary Jatra (of which Himal is a partner), like the Nepal Literature Festival, hopes to provide a global platform to the otherwise largely isolated Nepali literary circles.

Additionally, festival directors, Ajit Baral of the Nepal Literature Festival and Suvani Singh of the Kathmandu Literary Jatra, hope that the festivals will help create a dialogue among and between the writers and readers in Nepal. Although the Nepali literary scene is vibrant and thriving, writers are often unaware of the demands of their readers. ‘With the literacy rate at around 60 percent and growing,’ says Baral, ‘intellectual hunger and demands for quality in literary works have only increased in Nepal. The writers, as well as publishers, like me, need to focus on quality delivery.’

Full report here Himal

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