Festivals of significance: A writer’s view of literary festivals


Tan Twan Eng, Malaysia’s most noted writer of intricate and sensitive stories rooted in the country’s history, shares some experiences from the global journey of meeting admirers – and other authors.

We hardly heard any mention of them 20 years ago, but today it seems that every country, every town, every little village has one: yes, a Starbucks. But I’m also referring to literary festivals.

A look at www. literaryfestivals.co.uk reveals over 120 festivals of all sizes scheduled from September to November 2015. And that’s just for the UK alone, and merely for the last quarter of the year. There are literary festivals in nearly every country in the world, in all varieties of languages.

One of the oldest and most well-known literary festivals is the Hay-on-Wye Festival in Wales, which was started in 1988.

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