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Event 13 Mark Vanhoenacker: A Journey with a Pilot

Friday 2 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Pilot Mark Vanhoenacker’s Skyfaring, a poetic exploration of the emotional power of travelling through the air, struck a chord with readers worldwide and was hailed as one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times and the Economist.

His follow-up, How to Land a Plane, is a short tour of the cockpit during the most challenging part of the flight and shows how even the crucial technical details contain their own magic.

Vanhoenacker brings a boyish wonder back into flying; once you see it through his eyes, you’ll never look at planes the same way again.

Mark will be in conversation with Julia Wheeler.

Language: English

Mark Vanhoenacker: A Journey with a Pilot

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Event 10 When Poet Met Pilot: Literary Friendships

Friday 2 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Khayma, InterContinental

Poet Kirun Kapur and pilot Mark Vanhoenacker grew up in opposite corners of America. Since they met in college, they’ve rarely lived in the same place, or even on the same continent. Drawing on a long line of literary pairings (Emerson and Thoreau, Bishop and Lowell, Baldwin and Morrison) Kapur and Vanhoenacker will explore how writing – arguably a solitary undertaking – can be elevated by creative friendships, and why geography (almost) never matters now.

Kirun Kapur is the winner of the Antivenom Poetry Award for her first book, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist. She has taught at Amherst College and Boston University and serves as Poetry Editor at The Drum Literary Magazine.

Mark Vanhoenacker is a Senior First Officer for British Airways and a regular contributor to the New York Times. His first book, Skyfaring, was an international bestseller.

This panel is moderated by Najwa Yassir.

Language: English

When Poet Met Pilot: Literary Friendships

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Event 20 William Dalrymple: The World’s Most Infamous Diamond

Friday 2 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

In his new book, world-renowned historian and travel writer William Dalrymple tells the improbable, bloody story of one of the world’s most mythologised jewels. Through ‘Koh-i-noor’, he traces the rise and fall of empires, from a 10-year-old maharajah, through the sullied hands of the East India Company to the stone’s current controversial setting: the crown of Queen Elizabeth.

Dalrymple has followed Marco Polo along the Silk Road with In Xanadu and explored the heart of Delhi in City of Djinns; join him for a new slice of Asian history with erudite storytelling of the highest form.

William will be in conversation with James Mullan.

Language: English

William Dalrymple: The World’s Most Infamous Diamond

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Event 34 Mark Kurlansky: Paging Through History

Saturday 3 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Mark Kurlansky is a master of explaining the world from the perspective of something seemingly innocuous – most famously in his bestselling books Cod and Salt.

In his book Paper: Paging Through History he digs deep into the story behind the now-ubiquitous writing material that made the modern world possible, from its early origins in China, through the print revolution and into the digital age, where people are still finding new uses for it despite the rise of computers.

Tracing insights through Paper, his latest book Havana: A Subtropical Delirium, and his other surprising histories, you’ll find Mark’s eternal curiosity is catching.

Mark will be in conversation with Kevin Hasler.

Language: English

Mark Kurlansky: Paging Through History

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Event 67 Lion: Screening and Talk with Saroo Brierley

Wednesday 7 March, 7.30pm-10pm   Screen 5, Novo Cinemas, Dubai Festival City

When Saroo Brierley was just five years old, he got lost after boarding a train without his family and ended up living alone on the streets of Calcutta, far from a hometown he couldn’t name. Years later, living in Australia, he began a search that would change his life.

The book A Long Way Home is the story of that search and his reunion with his birth mother. A bestseller in Australia, the book gained global fame when it was adapted as the BAFTA-winning film Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara.

This screening, held in partnership with Dubai International Film Festival, is preceded by a talk by Saroo on the story behind the film and the new book he is currently writing – a ‘prequel’ about his adoptive and birth mothers in Australia and India.

Saroo will be in conversation with Julia Wheeler.

Language: English

Lion: Screening and Talk with Saroo Brierley

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Event 823 The Art of Travel Writing: Masterclass with Levison Wood

Friday 9 March, 10am-11.30am   Al Rimal, InterContinental

Authors: Levison Wood
Someone once told Levison Wood that the best non-fiction reads like fiction.

In this travel writing masterclass he will share how the story of adventure unfolds across the ages using the theory of the Monomyth, also known as The Hero’s Journey. Using examples from the history of travel writing, from Homer's Odyssey to Shantaram, he will explore what secrets they use to make journeys come alive. Learn how he brings out the best from his anecdotes and how to fit travellers’ tales within a narrative arc.

The tutor: Levison Wood is an award-winning author, explorer and photographer who has led expeditions on five continents. His bestselling books include Walking the Himalayas, Walking the Nile and Walking the Americas.

Language: English

The Art of Travel Writing: Masterclass with Levison Wood

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Event 84 Tony Hawks: Lessons from the Fridge

Friday 9 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Tony Hawks
He has hitchhiked with a fridge, played Moldovan footballers at tennis and sought a musical hit in Albania.

Actor, writer and stand-up comedian Tony Hawks has never run short of hilarious material.

But along the way, he has discovered that the silly can reveal more serious truths – and, in fact, his calamitous decisions have spread joy wherever he goes.

In this talk, he explains his ‘fridge philosophy’, sharing his unique perspective on life, and why he believes happiness comes less from material things and more from helping others.

This time, he’s leaving the fridge at home.

The session will be hosted by Jane Hodges. 

Language: English

Tony Hawks: Lessons from the Fridge

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Event 96 Cheryl Strayed: Wild

Friday 9 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Cheryl Strayed’s life fell apart when she was 22. With nothing to lose, she packed an oversized backpack she called Monster and set off to walk the Pacific Crest Trail – 1000 miles of the American West’s extraordinary wilderness, from deserts to snow-capped mountains.

Her battle with the physical challenges of the trail and the grief that haunted her led her to write the acclaimed memoir Wild, which became the focus of Oprah’s Book Club and was adapted as a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Join Cheryl as she relives that life-changing journey and shares the stories behind her other books, including the inspiring collection of quotes Brave Enough and her novel Torch.

Cheryl will be in conversation with Brandy Scott.

Language: English

Cheryl Strayed: Wild

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Event 148 Linda Davies: Longbow Girl

Saturday 10 March, 10am-11am   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Authors: Linda Davies
When Merry Owen discovers an ancient Welsh text, she is transported back in time to the reign of Henry VIII. Merry is an expert archer and rider, but will her skills be enough to survive this dangerous era?

Linda Davies’ first books for children were the Djinn fantasy series, which drew on the folklore of the UAE and mysticism of the desert. In her new YA timeslip novel Longbow Girl – winner of the 2016 Mal Peet Award – she puts the same skills to use to vividly recreate the unpredictable and magical world of Tudor England and Wales.

Linda will be in conversation with Shen Husain.

Language: English

Age Group: 11+

Linda Davies: Longbow Girl

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Event 137 Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Levison Wood
Bestselling author, explorer and photographer Levison Wood takes us on an epic journey across continents. In his new book Eastern Horizons: Hitchhiking the Silk Road, he recounts his shoestring budget journey from England to India and the eccentric (and occasionally dangerous) characters he encountered on the way. And for his next book, he’ll be mounting his most complex expedition yet, travelling around the Arabian Peninsula.

The winner of the 2016 Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book Of The Year Award, Wood is a gripping speaker who has stories of adventures on five continents and whose busy schedule encompasses everything from filmmaking to saving elephants.

Levison will be in conversation with Paul Blezard.

Language: English

Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

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Event 43 Adrian Hayes: K2 – The Tragedy and the Triumph Book Launch

Saturday 10 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Authors: Adrian Hayes
In K2: The Tragedy and the Triumph, record-breaking adventurer Adrian Hayes recounts his tragic failure and fortunate success in climbing the world’s notorious second highest mountain.

Launched in this session, K2 is an absorbing and self-reflective book that examines both the dangerous physical journey of climbing the ‘Savage Mountain’ and the inner journey Adrian took during the tumultuous years of his attempts.

Don’t miss this stunning book and talk from an internationally acclaimed speaker, coach and campaigner about, arguably, his most accomplished achievement, the enlightenment he gleaned in doing so and the compelling lessons for all of us down in the world below.

Adrian will be in conversation with David Macadam.

Language: English

Adrian Hayes: K2 – The Tragedy and the Triumph Book Launch

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