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Friday, 10 July 2009

Malaysian Author Tash Aw to Read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival August 2009

by Suzan Abrams

If you're an ardent reader, Scotland's the place to be this August!

Glance through the detailed programme that's been elaborately laid out and styled - more the decorative element, I'd say for a coffee table glossy - and it's easy to see how this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival 2009 is truly a universal meeting of the minds. The festival carefully shapes a prism that reflects a monumental number of slants in which detailed subjects of authors, publishing, literature and writing may be delightfully probed and measured.

Many, many big names and also fascinating lesser known authors. Also, a fantastic schedule of children's book events.

Malaysia is represented by its most popular bestselling author worldwide of all time, Tash Aw. Aw who's currently in big demand for readings in several countries will talk about his newest novel Map of the Invisible World on Saturday, 15th of August at 4.30pm. His event which takes place at the Writers Retreat, is listed under the category of World Writing. Aw will share the spotlight with debut novelist Sulaiman Addonia's The Consequences of Love; a plot which draws on a forbidden romance in Saudi Arabia.

Singapore is represented by pioneer poet Edwin Thamboo and also the poet Simon Tay and the region's highly popular novelist, Suchen Christine Lim. All three will speak at 4.00pm on Sunday, 16th August at the Peppers Theatre. I've met and spoken to Suchen. She stays one of the most level-headed, friendly, humorous and unpretentious writers I know.

Another shy writer that comes to mind is Diana Evans who's also reading at the Fest and who I'm surprised has just had another novel out, which I didn't even know about. Especially too, that I had been waiting the longest time. I once sat next to Evans at a Tash Aw reading in London and she was extremely soft-spoken, gentle and pretty much the lovely soul.

One more humble author - but he's not at the Fest - is Vikram Seth. I've met Seth twice . Chatted with him once at Hatchards in Piccadilly's London and went to a reading another time at the South Bank. He is a very very funny man and enjoys holding an audience up in stitches for as long as it takes.

Here is the link to the Edinburgh Book Festival Programme. Do enjoy your scroll down as you gasp at all the lovelies..

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