Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: Emirates LitFest Announces Authors, Memorable Reviews, Next Year's Reading List & More 

Your weekly guide to the latest happenings in the world of books!

Crack open those calendars and circle some dates! The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has announced its lineup of authors appearing at the 2021 edition of the Festival. Get ready for Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf, Malala Yousafzai, Booker nominees Avni Doshi of Burnt Sugar fame and Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of My Sister the Serial Killer, and so many more. You can explore the full author list here and even check out the highlights video up on our Instagram profile. We’re also the talk of the town, so you’ll see roundups of highlights in The National, What’s On, Al Bayan, and more. To re-cap the dates we’ll be at Jameel Arts Centre from 29th to 30th January, The InterContinental Event Centre in Dubai Festival City 4th to the 6th of Feb and Al Serkal Avenue from the 12th to the 13th Feb. Tickets go on sale on 14th January!
Crack open those calendars and circle some dates! The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature has announced its lineup of authors appearing at the 2021 edition of the Festival. Get ready for Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf, Malala Yousafzai, Booker nominees Avni Doshi of Burnt Sugar fame and Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of My Sister the Serial Killer, and so many more. You can explore the full author list here and even check out the highlights video up on our Instagram profile. We’re also the talk of the town, so you’ll see roundups of highlights in The National, What’s On, Al Bayan, and more. To re-cap the dates we’ll be at Jameel Arts Centre from 29th to 30th January, The InterContinental Event Centre in Dubai Festival City 4th to the 6th of Feb and Al Serkal Avenue from the 12th to the 13th Feb. Tickets go on sale on 14th January!
Who is the last character you read in a book that you deeply detested? You can see if you agree with the author of a top 10 list of dislikable characters in fiction this week.
Speaking of dislike, we’ve all seen a bad book review, but have you seen a truly scathing one? LitHub has collected some of the most scathing book reviews of 2020 together in one place. The kindest line I could find for one of the books was this comment that I feel describes many sequel or franchise instalments. "There are no pleasures to be had here, only a reminder of things that once produced pleasure." Ouch. 
Some food for thought! Bryan Washington, the author who won the Dylan Thomas Prize this year, has written a wonderful piece in The New Yorker, titled "My Year in Takeout Orders," in which he reflects month by month on the changes in both food consumed and human interaction along the way. 
Start off next year right! We’ve seen a lot of best books of the year lists recently, but as we look forward to 2021, we’re also looking at what to put next on our bookshelves. If you still have space after you’ve bought all the books at our festival next year – pre-signed copies will be available – you might want to look at the pieces in The Guardian, The Independent and Time magazine at what to keep an eye out for book-wise in the New Year. Kazuo Ishiguro’s next novel Klara and the Sun is one of the anticipated novels as is upcoming novel, When Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams. Yes, that Stacey Abrams has a side career as a novelist!
And lastly, if you’re looking for more classics to read, you won’t have to wait long, because tomorrow is Public Domain Day. So on 1 January copyrighted works from 1925 will enter the US public domain where they will be free for all to use and build upon. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, and of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby will be available, whose closing line seems a fitting way to round up the news today: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
For more news on what the Emirates Literature Foundation is up to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And to keep up with the rest of our book-filled discussion, you can listen to the latest episode of our Boundless Book Club podcast, featured down below!