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Welcome to the South East Asia Literature Festival
We are sharing the stories of South East Asia, from the pride of New India to the hidden voices of Korean women, who are both quiet but strong. For four days this Summer, we will champion the sea-change in female-led narrative, as its voice and confidence blooms. These are intimate tales for a global stage: exquisite stories, curated by Litro, presented with charm and accessible to all. If you think that you know Asia, think again, as we take a fresh look at this fascinating region through the voice, and heart, of its people.
It is a festival that asks questions. How do we translate the Indian experience? How do we find the soul of Seoul? And what unites us, not divides? To gorge upon these delicacies, we have assembled some of the most dynamic protagonists from India, UK and South Korea. As well as veteran and emerging writers, there are also translators, academics, musicians and dancers, all crossing paths at this axis of culture. We are not just inviting you to observe this meeting of minds, but to be part of it. It is a conversation, not a monologue.
If you read, we will welcome you into a thrilling new landscape. If you write, there are Masterclasses where you can pick up ‘tricks of the trade’ and if you are curious, then come and explore our bright and vibrant world. London has always been ‘the world in one place’, so there is no better place for a tri-Nation Festival. Litro has been celebrating text for over two decades and has a global reach and reputation. Both India and Korea are producing writers with firecracker credentials that cast a warm and elegant glow upon the world of new writing. Together, we hope to create something wonderful and we would like you to be part of it. It’s not our festival, it’s yours.
Editor, Litro Magazine
Kim is a Seoul born novelist and an investigative journalist residing in New York. Kim’s first novel The Interpreter was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her nonfiction has appeared in New York Times, New York Review of Books, Washington Post, Slate, and The New Republic.
Lee’s work includes Drifting House, How I Became a North Korean, and has appeared in publications including Granta and The Guardian. Lee is a recipient of the Rome Prize and an Honor Title from the Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing & Literature at Yonsei University.
Doshi is a writer with six books of poetry and fiction, and essays and short stories published in various anthologies. She received the Eric Gregory Award for Poetry, and won the All-India Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection for her debut, Countries of the Body.
Suah is a contemporary award-winning Korean author with over a dozen works published. She has translated several books including works by W. G. Sebald, Franz Kafka, and Jenny Erpenbeck. Her first English first book, Nowhere to be Found, was longlisted for a PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Award.
Yujoo is a Korean writer and translator. Yujoo’s books include the short story collections To the Moon, My Left Hand the King and My Right Hand the King’s Scribe, and novel The Impossible Fairytale. Her short story ‘To the Moon’ won Literature and Society’s New Writers Award.
Victor Mallet is an author, journalist, commentator and Asia News Editor for the Financial Times . Mallet has spend the past three decades travelling and working in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mallet is the recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Deborah is the founder of Tiled Axis and a translator of contemporary Korean Literature. A graduate of University of Cambridge and currently a research fellow at SOAS, Smith’s translations include The Vegetarian by Han Kang, becoming a co-winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2016.
Min is a South Korean photographer living in New York and received her MPS from School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at venues including The Bronx Documentary Center and published in publications including Harper’s Bazaar.
Amrit Kaur Lohia
Amrit Kaur Lohia is a singer-songwriter, Sarangi player and vocalist in genres of Punjabi folk, jazz and soul. Kaur has trained as a theatre director at the Young Vic Theatre and is a graduate of MA History, specialising in South Asia, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Here, she also received her Certificate in Teaching World Music.
Sadaf Saaz is a poet, festival producer and director of Dhaka Literature Festival (of which she co-founded). Growing up in the UK, Saaz studied Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. Currently residing in Dhaka, Saaz is a cultural activist and author of Sari Reams, a poetry collection.
Gitaljali Patel is a translator and field researcher. Patel graduated from University of Oxford in Spanish and Portugese, and a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London. From film scripts to fiction, Patel has published the work of Luisa Geisler, Fernanda Torres and Gisele Joras since 2010.
Anjali Joseph is the author of Saraswati Park, for which Joseph won the Betty Task Prize and Desmond Elliot Prize. Born in Bombay in 1978, Joseph, studied English at Trinity College, Cambridge and graduated from the MA Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Joseph has since taught English at the Sorbonne.
Manu S Pillai is the author of The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore (Harper Collins India, 2015), winning Tata Prize 2016 and Sahitya Akademi 2017. A graduate of Fergusson College, Pune and King’s College London, Pillai is a columnist for Mint Lounge and a Serena Chopra’s Bhutan Echoes (Tasveer, 2016). Previously Pillai’s writing has appeared in publications including The Hindu and Open Magazine.
Kelly Falconer is the founder of the Asia Literary Agency. Prior to founding the agency, Falconer has contributed to the Financial Times, The Literary Supplement and Spectator Magazine and worked as an editor in London for publishers including Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Constable & Robinson and Granta Magazine. In 2012, Falconer was named the Literary Editor of the Asia Literary Review.
Qaisra Shahraz is a prize winning novelist and scriptwriter. Born in Pakistan, Shahraz has living in Manchester, UK since childhood and gained two Master Degrees in English & Europian Literature and Scriptwriting for Television. Shahraz has been listed as on the 100 Influencial Pakistani Women in Pakistan’s Power 100 List (2012) and named as Director of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators partnership.
Mahsuda Snaith is a writer of short stories and novels. The winner of SI Leeds Literary Prize 2014, Bristol Short Story 2014 and a finalist in the Myslexia Novel Writing Competition 2013, Snaith’s debut novel “The Things WE Thought We Knew” is published by Doubleday. Residing in Leicester, Snaith leads writing workshops and teaching part-time in primary schools.
Roopa Farooki is an award winning novelist. In 2013 Roopa Farooki was awarded the John C. Laurence prize from the Authors' Foundation, in recognition of her multicultural writing. In 2007 her debut novel, “Bitter Sweets” was nominated for the Orange New Writers Award 2007. Roopa’s novels have been published internationally and translated into a dozen languages.
Rachel Dwyer is Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, University of London. Dwyer studied Sanskrit at SOAS, MPhil in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford. Her PhD research was on the Gujarati lyrics of Dayaram (1777-1852).
Dr Renate Sohnen-Thieme is a lecturer at SOAS, University of London. Sohnen-Thieme teaches Classical languages (sanskrit) and History of Old Indian Literature (religious and secular). Professor Sohnen-Thieme has been published including “Die Geschichte der Apala in der altindischen Literature” (1996), contributing to 'Indra in the Harivamsa' (2009) and 'Six Balti Marsiyas' (2007).
Francesca Orsini is Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London. Professor Orsini read Hindi at Venice University, Italy and the Central Institute of Hindi and Jawaharlal University before attending SOAS for her PHD. Orsis ran a research project on “North Indian Literary Culture and History” at SOAS reconsidering the fifteenth century, before the Mughals,. (“After Timur Left” was co-edited with Samira Sheikh in 2014) and performance, songs and story-telling (“Tellongs and Texts, co-edited with katherine Schofield in 2015).
Amarjit Chandan is a noted Punjabi poet and essayist. Born in Nairobi, Chandan has published eight collections of poetry and five books in essays in Punjabi. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines across the world. He has edited and translated into Punjabi approximately 30 anthologies of Indian and world poetry, in addition to fiction by writers including Martin Carter and John Berger.