Six must-see conferences at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair

The Sharjah International Book Fair begins on Wednesday, kicking off a dynamic in-person program for its 40th year that promises to revitalize the hustle and bustle of the event.

Taking place from November 3 to 13, the fair is held at Expo Center Sharjah under the theme, There is always a good book.

The 11-day event will feature workshops, theater, dance and music performances as well as lectures from some of the world’s greatest literary figures such as Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, Money theft creator Alex Pina and Jnanpith Prize winner Amitav Ghosh.

Here, we’ve rounded up six of the most exciting discussions taking place at this year’s SIBF.

A discussion with Gurnah, of Tanzanian origin, is scheduled on the opening day of the fair.

The fair will mark Gurnah’s first appearance at a literary event since being awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Tanzanian author will share his take on his writing and career, outlining the trajectory that led him to winning the most coveted prize in the literary world. Gurnah will also speak on the status of African literature and its global position. The book signing will take place before the event.

When? 9 p.m. on Wednesday

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vickie Flores / Shutterstock (9886779g) Writer and politician, Rabina Khan poses for photos at Wapping, Tower Hamlets the day before to announce that she has joined the Liberal Democrats party.  Rabina Khan Photoshoot, London, UK - August 28, 2018

British Bangladeshi-born novelist Rabina Khan will participate in one of a series of discussions examining the portrayal of women in literature. Author of several critically acclaimed books, including Ayesha’s rainbow and its debut in 2003, Rainbow hands, Khan will examine how women writers portray themselves and their gender in their works. She should also talk about her next novel My hair is pink under this veil.

When? 7:15 p.m. Thursday

Viral sketch comedy duo Jordindian will appear at the festival. The duo, consisting of Jordanian-Indian comedian Naser Al Azzeh and Indian comedian Vineeth “Beep” Kumar, will talk about their beginnings and what it took to establish an online comedy platform with millions of followers.

When? 8 p.m. on Wednesday

Ahlam Mosteghanemi: The reader as a writer

documents from the sharjah international book fair, 2014. Ahlam Mosteghanemi, is an Algerian writer who has been called "the most famous Arabic-speaking novelist in the world".  CREDIT: Courtesy of Sharjah International Book Fair

Renowned Algerian novelist Ahlam Mosteghanemi will describe what it takes to become a writer during this session. Drawing on three decades of experience, the Chaos of the senses The author will emphasize how being an insightful reader can hone his storytelling and writing skills.

When? 7:15 p.m. Wednesday November 10

In this discussion, the British novelist Candice Carty-Williams will discuss the need for representation in literature. It embodies stories from work, family, and friends to those exploring someone’s education, culture, and race. Carty-Williams will discuss how literature provides a gateway to different voices and experiences, as well as her debut novel Queen, which in 2020 made her the first black woman to win the Book of the Year award at the British Book Awards.

When? 7:15 p.m. Wednesday November 10

Amitav Ghosh, 2018 winner of the prestigious Jnanpith Award, to discuss his latest outing The Nutmeg Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis. The book, a sequel to that of Ghosh The great inconvenience, traces the origins of our contemporary climate crisis to the violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment by Western colonialism. Ghosh will share his concerns about climate change, showing how many of today’s environmental problems are rooted in an age-old geopolitical order brought about by settlers.

When? 8:30 p.m. Friday November 12

Update: November 2, 2021, 3:11 p.m.

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