Tag Archives: festivals

Ubud Writers’ & Readers’ Festival 2008, Bali

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Some highlights…


With Bernice Chauly. We look like we’re at Zouk, but actually, we’re on top of a gigantic lily pond at the Four Seasons. Preeta Samarasan and Kam Raslan are blurry but present too.

With Jean Bennett, author of 27 books.

With Sharon Bakar, Deepika Shetty and Eric Forbes. Sorry, Deepika, there was no better shot and I so wanted to put up one with you all.

With Vikram Seth. Yes, this pic MUST come out blurry, no?

I heart Alberto Ruy Sánchez (and so does everybody else). He could charm every pair of pants off a centipede if he wanted to!

With Preeta Samarasan, Bernice Chauly and Tishani Doshi at a wine-tasting (like writers need an excuse). Too many cameras at the table! Preeta is gorgeous.

With Stephanie Theng. It was gratifying to take this because I’m used to being asked to sign things and to pose by myself, but rare is the… “fan” (*cringe*) who wants to take a pic with me!

Portraits of me…

Cam-whoring, as usual. Top pic by Chriswan Sungkono. Remaining three by “her personal photographer”.

And by me…


My beautiful and brilliant longtime friend Bernice Chauly, whose most recent book is Lost in KL, a collection of short stories.

Lijia Zhang, who worked for a decade in a missile factory – and wrote the tale!

Thanding Sari – doesn’t she look exactly like me in profile? I love her singing.

Ubud Writers’ & Readers’ Festival

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I’m leaving tonight for for a week in Bali (and yes, on work!), to attend the Ubud Writers’ & Readers’ Festival 2008.

Other than general official engagements and anything that happens impromptu, my readings and panels, in case you’re there, are as follows:

Thursday 16 Oct: Performance Poetry Extravaganza, 19.30-21.30 at Warung Opera

Top performers and comedians from Australia, India and the Philippines present a riotous medley of rhythm, sound and song. Lexical dexterity will be at work in this high-energy, cross-cultural celebration of the literary spoken word. Tug Dumbly, Sharanya Manivannan, Edwina Blush. MC: Benito di Fonzo.

Saturday 18 Oct: Mindscapes, 15.45-17.00 at Indus

Novelist Charlotte Bacon tells us what happens “when geography rubs up against people’s emotional states.” Matthew Condon’s novel The Trout Opera was inspired by the stark beauty of Australia’s Snowy Mountains. Carrie Tiffany, an environmental journalist, explores agricultural issues and the lives of rural people in her fiction. Poet Sharanya Manivannan believes in the magical quality of water and coasts. These writers get together to consider the way exposure to different geographies shapes human experience and action. Moderator: Poonam Sagar.

Saturday 18 October: Wine Tasting, 18.30-20.30 at Casa Luna

According to Persian mythology it was a woman who first discovered wine. For that we are thankful! Join us as award-winning Indonesian wine writer Yohan Handoyo leads us through a menu of full-bodied wines matched with some of our most sparkling Festival writers and accompanied by tasty tapas in this celebration of wine, women and words. Featuring: Peter Zilahy, Tishani Doshi, Sharanya Manivannan, Dino Umahu. Cost: Rp. 650,000 | AUD $82.

Sunday 19 October: Poetry of the Body 15.30-17.00 at HSBC Lounge

Whereas poet and dancer Tishani Doshi sees the body as the place “where the spiritual and the sensual combine”, Sharanya Manivannan has a fascination with the ancient Tamil concept of a potentially malevolent force that exists in women’s bodies. These two Indian poets will discuss poetry, women, dance and the body along with readings of their work. This session will be followed by a 30-minute documentary film on Indian dance featuring Tishani Doshi and her teacher Chandralekha, legendary dancer from South India. Moderator: Debra Yatim.

I was really looking forward to another panel on sacred geography, but it was cancelled as the other writer is not able to participate in the festival this year.

On another note, Books Actually in Singapore will stock limited copies of Witchcraft from next week.

I’m told that the website from which you can order the book will probably go up while I’m away. More info will be available soon. Hold your horses please! Will let you know when I know. Ditto about launches, etc. And lastly, remember the Exec Assistant? Yeah, she’s out of the picture. Irresponsible would be an understatement. So for any enquiries relating to publicity, interviews and events, please contact either sharanya dot manivannan at gmail dot com or bullfighterbooks at gmail dot com.

Okay, I’m off to island-hop and shoe-shop… I mean, work. :) See you after the 20th.