The imminent Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, scheduled to take place from January 31 to February 6, is poised to bring together a diverse gathering of celebrated writers, creators, and thought leaders. The upcoming edition assures an innovative roster of events and encounters, encompassing LitFest After Hours, Discovery Talks, LitFest Families, and Youth Day.
Among the distinguished authors scheduled to grace the event are Paul Lynch, winner of the 2023 Booker Prize for “The Prophet Song,” Bernardine Evaristo, a Booker Prize recipient and President of the Royal Society of Literature, UAE astronaut Hazza AlMansoori, UAEs Minister of Youth Sultan Al Neyadi, Curtis Sittenfeld of BookTok fame with “Romantic Comedy,” and Rebecca Yarros presenting “Fourth Wing” (both making their regional debut). Anton Hur, an award-winning translator known for his work on “I Went to See My Father”, will also join, along with Sophia Webster, a renowned shoe and accessories designer and author of “Oh My Gosh, I Love Your Shoes!” Additionally, Eliza Reid, an advocate for gender equality and the arts, and the First Lady of Iceland, will be part of this literary extravaganza.
A special event titled “Without Hope We Are Lost” will take center stage, featuring poetry and performances dedicated to the life and work of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Another noteworthy discussion is a world-first conversation between Bernardine Evaristo and poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine. The grand finale of the LitFest weekend will include the regional debut of the TikTok Book Awards and a concert by Emirati musician Rashed Alnuaimi.
Ahlam Bolooki, CEO of Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, expressed her pleasure and honor in elevating the UAE’s literary festival to unprecedented heights. She emphasized the festival’s commitment to shaping a literary landscape that resonates with the audience through innovative events and groundbreaking partnerships.
The festival will also host several book launches, including “Out of This World” by Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi. Published by ELF Publishing, the photo journal captures the Minister of Youth’s six-month space journey, offering readers a unique perspective from the International Space Station. Beyond showcasing the universe, the book provides insights into the personal reflections of the astronaut known as the “Sultan of Space.” The launch event, titled “Out Of This World: Sultan Al Neyadi,” is scheduled for February 3 at 15:00, offering attendees the chance to hear about Dr. Al Neyadis space adventures and get their copy of the book signed.