Conversations From Lit Fest 2017

The 9th Annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature took place earlier in the year and here you can listen to the authors, historians, broadcasters and thinkers who came from all over the world to share their stories, thoughts and ideas.

KAPOW – Comics And Animation – Culture Strikes Back

Sana Amanat aka Ms Marvel and director of content and character development at Marvel and one half of the duo responsible for creating the new Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, brings diversity to mainstream comics by introducing a female Muslim.

Mohammed Saeed Harib took four elderly Arab women and made them the protagonists for his TV animation series. Khaled bin Hamad left a government job and moved to Japan to study manga and animation for three years. He is the artist responsible for creating a comic strip for Expo 2020 as well as being a published graphic artist.

Dare to Do

On 1 April 2011 adventurer, explorer and athlete Sara Outen MBE set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France, as part of her expedition London2London via the world.  Her aim was  to circle the globe entirely under her own steam – cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. The journey took her 4.5 years to complete and she is author of two books –  Dare to Do the story of her journey, which has been shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book of the Year award and Dip in the Ocean.

For more about Sara Outen MBE…

A Place Called Winter

Patrick Gale is the author of 17 novels, and most recently A Place Called Winter a novel shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015. It is the  story of a privileged elder son Harry Cane, forced to abandon his wife and child, who signs up for emigration to the newly colonised, remote and unforgiving and Canadian prairies. The novel is described as an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking.

Patrick’s  father was the prison governor of HM Prison Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight, and he was brought up in and around prisons.   He lives in Cornwall where he raises beef cattle and grows barley. Patrick is obsessed with his garden which includes England’s westernmost walled rose garden.

For more about Patrick Gale…

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Award winning broadcaster, journalist, screenwriter and author Jon Ronson has published ten books, written for screen and most recently co-wrote the Netflix action adventure film Okja.

For his latest book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon spent three years  travelling around the world speaking to people who had been publicly shamed online, collecting their stories for the book.  Jon Ronson’s subjects have included people who believe that goats can be killed by the power of a really hard stare, and people who believe that the world is ruled by twelve-foot lizard-men….

You can find out more about Jon Ronson here.


Frank Gardner OBE, is the BBC’s Security Correspondent, a journalist and author, who since 2001 has been heavily involved in covering the war on terror. Frank was appointed OBE in 2005 for his services to journalism. Frank has published the bestselling Blood and Sand, a book describing his 25 years of Middle Eastern experiences, Far Horizons a book about unusual journeys to unusual places  and he published his first novel, Crisis in 2016.  

For more about Frank Gardner…

The Girl From Aleppo

Christina Lamb OBE, is a British Journalist and author who is the Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times.  Lamb has won fourteen major awards including four British Press Awards and the European Prix Bayeux-Calvados for war correspondents. She has spent 28 years covering the drawn-out conflict in Afghanistan and her reporting from Zimbabwe led to her being declared an enemy of the state by Robert Mugabe’s regime. Christina has published eight books including I am Malala, the story of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousef, with her latest book The Girl From Aleppo telling the story of Nujeen, a young Kurdish teenager, who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk, who travelled in her wheelchair from Syria to Germany in search of a new life.

For more about Christina Lamb…

Jo Malone My Story

Jo Malone MBE, the British perfumer, businesswoman, founder of Jo Malone London and Jo Loves. Jo has severe dyslexia, and left school without any qualifications She created the company with her mother Eileen, which is particularly well known for her range of scented candles and in 1999 Malone sold Jo Malone London to Estee Lauder for ‘undisclosed millions’. Since then Jo has established her new, own brand, Jo Loves. She has written her autobiography Jo Malone My Story, which tells the story of her journey, her struggles with dyslexia and how she became an internationally recognised brand name.

For more about Jo Malone…

A Boy Made of Blocks

Keith Stuart is an author, and games editor for the Guardian in the UK, and he’s talking about his bestselling debut book.

He was inspired to write A Boy Made of Blocks by personal experience – his son is on the autism spectrum, and the book is about how Minecraft helped father and son connect.

Find out more information about Keith here.

Journey to Modern India

Vaseem Khan, was born in London, but worked in the Indian city of Mumbai as a management consultant, where he found his inspiration for a crime novel, after he saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road.

In this talk he explains his journey to India, how Mumbai became the place it now is, and his own journey from sighting the first elephant to publishing his book.

Find out more information about Vaseem here.


Authors from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017 live on Dubai Eye; (clockwise) Kanishk Tharoor, Jo Marchant, Piers Torday, Dr. Ahmad Khaled Tawfiq


The Year of Reading Dangerously

Andy Miller is a reader, author, and editor of books, but not one of the other famous Millers.

In this talk, he takes you on a journey through the literary canon that changed his life, and the not-so-great books that didn’t, and invites you to take the Dangerous Reading Pledge.

Find out more about the dangerous pledge here.

The Orwell Lecture, A World Turned Upside Down

The Orwell Lecture is given by a highly regarded speaker as they give their views based on George Orwell’s writing under the context of today’s concerns. 

This year’s lecture is delivered by the BBC’s special correspondent James Naughtie, who has covered every BBC Radio UK election results programme since 1997 and has worked on every US presidential election since 1988.

Follow James Naughtie on Twitter to find out more.

Horrid Henry Says Goodbye

The Horrid Henry series has sold more than 20 million books but it comes to a close with Horrid Henry’s Cannibal Curse.

In this session, author Francesca Simon discusses how this famous but horrid character came into existence and her tips on how to become a writer.

Find out more about Francesca Simon here.

Authors from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017 live on Dubai Eye; Talking of Books panel, Candy Gourlay, Sir Anthony Seldon, James Naughtie


Mad Girl

Author and British journalist, Bryony Gordon developed obsessive-compulsive disorder when she was 12 and has struggled with it ever since.

But after the birth of her daughter, she decided to talk publicly about her illness, and wrote the memoir Mad Girl, in hopes of convincing society to take mental health more seriously.

Find out more about Bryony Gordon here. 

Can Megacities Save The World

This discussion is about the question that can cities alone challenge national governments or international corporations to change their ways?

In this session we hear from George Berbari, founder and CEO of DC PRO Engineering. His book The Energy Budget looks at whether governments are doing enough to tackle global warming. And Dr. Parag Khanna, author of Connectography and an expert on the supply chains that bind civilisations together.

Find out more about Dr. Parag Khanna here.

Find out more about George Berbari here.

The Kindness of Enemies

Sudanese-born writer Leila Aboulela talks about her new novel The Kindness of Enemies inspired by the life of Imam Shamil, who united the tribes of the Caucasus to fight against Russian Imperial expansion.

She won the first Caine Prize for African Writing. She is the author of four novels, a collection of short stories, and several radio plays.

Find out more about Leila Aboulela here.

Authors from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017 live on Dubai Eye; Christina Lamb, Francesca Simon, Dr. Peter Frankopan, Ashlee Vance

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