Honestly, I’m looking forward to everything at the festival. Probably the two things I’m looking forward to most are 1) getting to interact with members of the international writing community and gain new insight from them and 2) experiencing the culture of Dubai, which is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
Why do you think literary festivals are important?
Literary festivals are important because they serve as a hub for people around the world to share their ideas, experiences, and works with each other, thus strengthening not only themselves but the international community of writers as a whole.
Can you share one line from a book or poem that has stayed with you for the longest time?
My favorite quote of all time is from a TV show called Avatar: The Last Airbender, from a character named Iroh: “Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it’s source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.” The quote that I think about the most from a book is “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” from Animal Farm.
You have to make a book tower of at least 5 books for your nightstand. Which ones would you choose?
To Kill a Mockingbird, Crime and Punishment, Animal Farm, Life of Pi, The Martian
In your opinion, what does 2016 hold for the world of literature?
In my opinion, literature in the last decade has seen a growing progression towards all-inclusiveness. People from all across the world, from all backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life have been able to share their stories. This has increased further with the rise of the internet, and the dissolution of the stigma around self-publishing. I hope that 2016 continues this trends, and that the world of literature becomes enriched with works from people with perspectives that had never been considered before.