With an office bookshelf curving with the works of 160+ speakers set to converge for the UWRF18, Festival staff have no shortage of extraordinary stories and literary magic to devour! So what’s keeping them up at night, page by page, in the lead up to this year’s Festival? In our new series, #UWRFBookClub, we chat to the Festival team about their highlight authors and artists. First up is our Communications Coordinator, Ayundari Gunansyach.
Ever since I started working for the Festival in 2015, I have been discovering new writers I had never heard of before, and new books to read. It also helps that our office receives packages of books almost daily – book unboxing is one of those things we look forward to. For this year’s Festival, here are the writers I can’t wait to meet because their books have blown my mind:
Balli Kaur Jaswal – Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel
I actually read Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel in 2017, because Balli Kaur Jaswal was supposed to make an appearance at UWRF17, and we had received many copies of this book. I couldn’t stop turning the pages because it has so many plots. It has romance, thrills, drama, culture, comedy, even food. After reading this book I understand Indian family relations a little more, and it made me have a massive craving for Indian desserts!
Hanif Kureishi – The Nothing
I had never heard of Hanif Kureishi until a few months ago when Donica, our International Program Consultant, talked about bringing him to Ubud this October. We received his new book The Nothing at the office, and of course I had to read it to know why Hanif is so popular. The Nothing tells the story of Waldo, an old man who believes that his young and beautiful wife is having an affair with his friend, and so is plotting revenge. Hanif is brilliant at putting together words, spicing things up and writing funny lines. My favorite line from the book is, “Narcissism is our religion. Selfie stick is our cross, and we must carry it everywhere.”
Andre Septiawan – Two Poems
Andre is one of the selected Indonesian Emerging Writers 2018 and I’m sure he is going to be one of Indonesia’s most acclaimed poets in a few years. It’s not just me who thinks this, but the curatorial board, Leila S. Chudori, Putu Fajar Arcana and Warih Wisatsana, think the same. His selected poems, Dalam Perjalanan ke Bukittinggi and Pasar Malam made me wonder at first, but then I got to see the messages in them. These poems will be published in the UWRF 2018 Bilingual Anthology and I definitely will get his signature at the Festival – just in case he will be famous one day and getting his signature might be harder to do.
To find out where you can catch these three UWRF18 speakers in action, check their individual profile pages. To buy your 1-Day or 4-Day Main Program Pass, click here.