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An Audience with Alexander McCall Smith

Event 1 Friday 2 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Join us for an hour of mischief, laughter and master storytelling with one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved writers, Alexander McCall Smith. Author of more than 100 books including the internationally bestselling No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, 44 Scotland Street and Corduroy Mansions series, McCall Smith was recently awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for Achievement in Literature by The National Arts Club of America.

Language: English

An Audience with Alexander McCall Smith

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Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Event 65 Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kevin Kwan
We’ve all wondered at how the super-rich live, but may not have seen the wild extravagance of it first-hand. Author Kevin Kwan has, and he’s here to reveal all about the world of the luxury-laden Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, from private jets to plastic surgery for pet fish.

The satirical series, which has been dubbed ‘a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice’ for its portrayal of the gossip and scheming of a wealthy elite, has entertained readers worldwide and is now on its way to cinemas. This is your chance to get the inside story on those #richpeopleproblems from the author who knows them best!

Language: English

Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

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Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

Event 24 Friday 2 March, 4pm-5pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

In 2006, Ibrahim Nasrallah finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a full-time writer. With the freedom to write, he has produced some of his best work, including the IPAF-shortlisted Time of White Horses, Lanterns of the King of Galilee and Kilimanjaro Spirit – the last inspired by his journey with volunteers and disabled Palestinian children to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

In this conversation he will talk about his writing, the challenges he faced growing up and his shift from telling the story of 250 years of recent Palestinian history to his surprise move into futuristic dystopian fiction in Dog War II.

Language: Arabic

Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

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Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

Event 25 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Celebrated Syrian author Khaled Khalifa, twice shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, joins us to talk about his critically acclaimed writing and his love for his home city, Aleppo. His novels No Knives in the Kitchens of this City and In Praise of Hatred – both also published in English to widespread praise – portray the life of the city and its people over the period of history from the first world war to 2003 – a time of great social and cultural change.

Make sure to catch this important conversation for an author’s insight into the real Aleppo.

Language: Arabic

Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

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Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

Event 29 Saturday 3 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan found fame as Britain’s foremost daytime TV duo, and have since become the nation’s favourite book-loving couple.

In this session Richard & Judy meet with their pick of Festival authors for a live Book Club session.

The Panellists:

Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems – a satire of Singapore’s uber-wealthy that has been a global hit with readers.

Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth was a standout title in the strong 2006 lineup for the Richard & Judy Book Club and picked up a British Book Award that year. She is working on a new series, the Burning Chambers Trilogy.

Shari Lapena’s gripping domestic thriller The Couple Next Door was a Richard & Judy pick in 2017 and bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic; her new book is A Stranger in the House.

Language: English

Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

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Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

Event 99 Thursday 8 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Mohammed Hasan Alwan won the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for A Small Death, a historical fiction novel about the great Sufi scholar Ibn Arabi.

Following Ibn Arabi on his extensive travels through the 12th Century Islamic world, A Small Death examines the evolution of one of the best known Arab scholars of all time against the backdrop of a colourful but tumultuous period of history, full of details of the traditions of the cities he visited and the insights this gave him into the human soul.

In this session Alwan will discuss this powerful book and what he learned while writing it.

Language: Arabic

Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

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Chetan Bhagat: One Indian Girl

Event 101 Friday 9 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Chetan Bhagat
The biggest selling English-language author in India’s history, Chetan Bhagat’s novels and non-fiction alike provoke discussion on a wide range of social problems while entertaining millions of readers.

His seventh novel One Indian Girl explores the demands placed on young women caught between family, career and love, while the advice collected in Make India Awesome offers solutions to issues from religious fundamentalism to discrimination against women.

In his only appearance at the Festival, make sure not to miss Bhagat’s take on life in India today.

Language: English

Chetan Bhagat: One Indian Girl

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