2019 Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival

Shashi Tharoor, Jung Chang and Dom Joly to speak at UK’s leading pan-Asian literature festival in London

Media release
23 July 2019

• The Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival returns from September to November 2019
• Tickets on sale now with Nikita Gill and Dan Jones also set to appear
• The 13th edition of the festival presents an array of diverse events and themes from the comical to the challenging

The line-up for the UK’s leading pan-Asian literature festival was announced today, with best-selling authors, comedians and popular poets speaking as part of an eclectic programme showcasing words, stories and ideas from Asia and the diaspora.

The 13th edition of the festival opens with bestselling author, historian and broadcaster Dan Jones who will be discussing his new book Crusaders, which explores the medieval world’s sequence of religious wars through the lives of those who shaped them. Held in partnership with Foyles, at Foyles Charing Cross Road on 3 September, this will be Jones’s first London appearance, two days ahead of the publication of Crusaders. Asia House will also be partnering with Foyles for the launch of the UK’s most followed poet Nikita Gill’s new book Great Goddesses – a collection of poetry inspired by Greek mythology. Indian politician and popular author, Shashi Tharoor, will reflect on the books that have influenced his life while multi-award winning television comedian Dom Joly will be recounting his 470 km journey across Lebanon.

Bestselling author Jung Chang will present her major new biography, Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister – a gripping story of sisterhood, revolution and betrayal and three women who influenced modern Chinese history – at a festival event in partnership with Southbank Centre, while satirist Karl Sharro (Karl reMarks) will be returning to Asia House to share his unique take on the Middle East.

The festival will also see the launch of a new book by journalist and author Azadeh Moaveni which offers an intimate account of the women who joined Islamic State. Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS will launch on 10 October.

Generously supported by the Bagri Foundation since 2014, this year’s festival will also feature actress Shobna Gulati exploring Asian women in Shakespeare.

Anna Temby, Literature Programme Manager at Asia House, said:
“In a world that can sometimes feel fractious and divided, the need for conversation and engagement with different ideas and perspectives is more important than ever. By bringing together a truly diverse group of authors, poets, performers and thinkers, this year’s festival aims to create a forum for discussion.
“We are thrilled to have such a stellar line up and to be able to offer a range of events that will both entertain and inform. And we are once again grateful for the support of the Bagri Foundation, who share our vision to celebrate Asian arts and culture and share it with audiences across the UK.”

Chelsea Pettitt, Head of Arts at the Bagri Foundation, stated:
“The pan-Asian context within which the Asia House Literature Festival operates is a unique one which the Bagri Foundation shares, and we are excited to return this year as title sponsor. Our shared aim is to contribute to global artistic dialogue across cultures, and the written word continues to be of vital importance today. We proudly support this platform for new voices to be heard and cultural experiences to be shared.
Personally, the impact of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans and Azadeh Moaveni’s Lipstick Jihad, both of which I read in my early twenties, inspired me to learn more about women’s lives in Asia. So I cannot be more thrilled to see them return with new releases at this year’s festival. We look forward to seeing them, alongside other stellar speakers, continue to inspire a new generation of audiences.”

Tickets start from £5 and are available at www.asialitfest.co.uk Nearly all events are free for students.
Highlights include:
• 16 Sep 2019 Politician, award-winning author and master wordsmith Shashi Tharoor discusses the books that have most influenced his life.
• Sat 19 Oct 2019 International bestselling author Jung Chang presents a major new biography, Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister, a gripping story of sisterhood, revolution and betrayal, and three women who helped shape the course of modern Chinese history.
• 24 Oct 2019 Multi-award winning television comedian Dom Joly recounts his 470km journey across Lebanon in a witty and affectionate love letter to the country of his youth.

The full programme can be viewed HERE
For more information or to buy tickets please visit the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival website or call +44 (0)20 7307 5454

For media enquiries, including requests to interview festival speakers, please contact Priyanka Mogul, Communications Officer, priyanka.mogul@asiahouse.co.uk, +44 (0)20 7307 5432

Press images are available HERE.

About Asia House
Asia House, a centre of expertise on trade, investment and public policy, supports a vibrant Arts and Learning programme – a creative hub for Asian arts and culture in the UK. The mission of Asia House Arts and Learning is to inspire and engage diverse audiences through a pan-Asian artistic and cultural programme, which takes place through panel discussions, exhibitions, performances, talks and screenings and spans artistic forms ranging from music, dance, visual art, film, fashion, literature and food. For more information visit: www.asiahousearts.org

About the Bagri Foundation
The Bagri Foundation is a UK registered charity, inspired by creative, unique and unexpected ideas that weave the traditional and the contemporary of Asian culture. The Foundation is driven by curiosity, a desire to learn and supports myriad of exciting artistic programmes that challenge, engage and inspire. Through a diverse programme of film, visual arts, music, dance, literature, courses and lectures, Bagri Foundation gives artists and experts from across Asia, or those inspired by the continent, wider visibility on the global stage.

For more information visit: www.bagrifoundation.org/


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