Of the things that unite South Asians, a love of words and an alacrity with language are often noted. While the book trade struggles in much of the world, Kathmandu is the latest city in the region to launch an annual literary festival, which begins on September 16th. Big-name international writers will be there, as well as dozens from Nepal’s own energetic literary scene. Several thousand Nepali bibliophiles, most of them young, are expected to attend three days of fizzing discussion.
The fashion for literary gatherings in South Asia spread from the Jaipur festival in India, founded on a shoestring in 2006 and now a huge international success. Pakistan, where the Karachi Literature Festival had its second outing this year, showcases relatively young but internationally liked authors. Bhutan, Galle in Sri Lanka, and Goa and Trivandrum in India have joined in. But a new annual festival in Srinagar, capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, has just been postponed indefinitely after threats of violence and a perverse campaign by some authors who argued that it was wrong to talk about books in a place where liberties were curtailed.
Full report here Economist