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Sri Lanka to host third Galle Literary Festival

15th January 2009 Print
An inspiring company of international and Sri Lankan writers will gather with festival-goers from all over the world at the Galle Literary Festival, which runs from January 28 – February 01 2009, in and around the world heritage site of Galle Fort, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

Named ‘No.1 Literary Festival in the world’ by Harpers Bazaar in its debut year, the event is characterised by it’s intimate setting within the walls of the maritime Fort and the chance for festival-goers to interact with writers at close quarters.

Now in its third year, the Festival continues to seek out revealing experiences in living and loving, reading and writing: Germaine Greer and Tarun Tejpal will debate whether there are taboo subjects to write about, while Tahmima Anam, Moses Isegawa, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Sivamohan Sumathy discuss the role of the writer in responding to public crisis. Pico Iyer will talk about Tibet, a symbol of globalisation, while Romesh Gunesekera will read stories from small islands. Thomas Keneally, best known for Schindler’s Ark, will give a personal guide to his other celebrated works.

Festival writers will also introduce their own literary heroes: Ireland’s most famous living writer, Edna O’Brien, will preview her new book about Byron’s love affairs, while Patrick French will speak about his experience of writing an authorised biography of V.S. Naipaul. Writers will also gather to read from the work of dead writers they would like to have met at a literary festival.

The Galle Literary Festival 2009 will include a full programme of workshops for aspiring writers, whether poets, travel writers or filmmakers. The Festival will continue to highlight the architecture and environment with a Conversation about Conservation, a talk on secret shipwrecks and a special concert given by the Chamber Music Society of Colombo in the restored Dutch Reformed Church. The Festival’s trademark intimate lunches and dinners with writers will be making a comeback, due to great popular demand.

A dedicated children’s programme will run alongside the main Festival, featuring the international story teller Margaret Read Macdonald and the multiple award winning former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo. Highlights include the creation of a rainforest mural, a treasure hunt through the historical sites of the Fort and a session with Michael Morpurgo for both parents and children.

Tropical Sky ( is offering eight nights on bed and breakfast basis, staying at the five-star Lighthouse Hotel for £1,199 per person. Valid for departure on 27 January, the price includes accommodation in a superior room, flights from London Gatwick with Qatar Airways, resort transfers, taxes and surcharges. Located on the southern tip of Sri Lanka about a mile from Galle, this beautiful hotel stands on a bluff overlooking a golden sandy beach. Facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, steam room, spa, tennis courts, kids club and playground and a variety of restaurants.

Further information and full Festival programme details can be found at