Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Win LitFest Tickets!

Win? Yes, win! LitFest Tickets? Yes, LitFest tickets!

5.30pm on Thursday 7th March will see yours truly onstage at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, hosting four most excellent people in a discussion about the world of online and its role and relevance to their lives and work - the blogging panel. And I must say, they are a most interesting bunch.


Shobhaa De is a bestselling author and Times of India columnist, a former model and magazine editor and a well-known Indian socialite and public figure. She is the author of some seventeen books, the latest of which is the hard-hitting political novel Sethji.

Long a consulting editor for Penguin Books in India, in 2010 she launched her own imprint under the Penguin brand. Her popular blog (linked above) carries notes from her life as well as her columns. Interestingly, in a recent post, she asked the question, "What’s a Lit Fest without at least one juicy controversy?"
What indeed!


Cathy Shalhoub is a little bit of Lebanon in Dubai. Well, a little bit of Lebanon and Poland via New York and Boston. She can design submarine robots, has engineered marine optics but prefers to write books, which is a choice many at the LitFest would admire. Her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover takes an amused look at the Lebanese identity in diaspora and was actually based on her blog.


Caroline Faraj is a seasoned journalist and is well known as the editor of Formerly the senior political reporter at Jordan's Al Rai and managing editor of The Jordan Times, she has also worked for Dubai TV and Bahrain TV. She has her feet firmly in two camps - 'traditional' journalism working for a major global news organisation and working with online properties - turned ten last year.


Boris Akunin has sold over 25 million books in Russia alone. It's actually a pseudonym - his real name is Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili. His Erast Fandorin novels are fascinating romps through the late C19th, set in Russia and Japan and zing with intelligence, energy and constantly twist and turn like twisty turny things.

Fascinatingly, Akunin became a social activist at a time in his life when he would be forgiven for sitting back and enjoying the fruits of his literary success - Akunin has been a key figure in the anti-Putin protests in Russia and memorably used his blog to publicise a walk around Moscow's statues of famous poets in a test of freedom of movement. Calling a couple of author friends and dropping a post on his blog (linked above - you'll need Google Translate, Boris blogs in Russian) to announce the walk, he arrived on the day to find ten thousand people waiting to join him.


Four very different people with very different outlooks on life. One hour. And a troublemaker. I'm looking forward to this mightily.

So how can you WIN yourself two SMASHING tickets to this most fascinating session FREE? Simply by clicking on this link, signing up to The McNabboGram, my lovely emailer, and answering the question in this Friday's LitFest edition of the mailer. There'll also be interesting book links and a freebie, too. What larks!

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