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. This week we hear from our International Program Assistant, Primadita Rahma.
As a two-times MC and one-time International Writers Liaison volunteer for UWRF, I always await fresh insights from the Festival speakers. I still remember the day when I sobbed at the back of Indus as I listened to the sad experiences of Hyeoseo Lee in 2015; or felt delightful as Fuchsia Dunlop shared her culinary passion in 2017. This year, as the International Program Assistant, I have the privilege of ‘meeting’ the speakers before everyone does, especially through their books. When the book packages arrive at the office, I almost feel like a child in candy store. I can’t wait to taste all the books! However, as we are working hard to prepare the event, I only have limited time to read, and these are my recommendations:
Jill Stark – Happy Never After
Earlier this year I found myself trapped in a depressive state, so when I saw the review of this book, I brought it home and spent my Eid-ul-Adha holiday reading it. I can relate to most parts of the book, as Jill describes her journey in looking for solutions to her problems vividly. I believe many people would like to attend her sessions as we – modern people – are encountering challenges with fast-paced work speed and FOMO culture.
Shrabani Basu – Victoria & Abdul
I watched the movie last year, and I can’t believe my luck as I will meet her soon! I was stunned with the smooth depiction of the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul in the movie; but my jaw dropped when I read the book. Shrabani must be a super cool journalist to come up with all the details. The book touched me in many ways, as well as broadened my insights into India-England relations. I think it is safe to say that it is one thousand times better than any history book on the subject.
Nguyen Phan Que Mai – The Secret of Hoa Sen
Apalah arti UWRF tanpa puisi dan penyair. Another woman in my list, Que Mai brings us to the situation of post-war Vietnam. As she carries us to sense the lives of those who lost their beloveds, she transforms sorrow into hope as well. Only later I found that she has traveled around the world to study and present her works in the Creative Writing field (including Indonesia). I am eager to wait for her sessions at UWRF so that I can steal her tricks in sharpening my writing!
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.