I had a phenomenal time at the 2017 George Town Literary Festival last month. After the insanity of the Singapore Writers Festival (over 25,000 in attendance, a 25% jump from last year!), it was wonderful to attend a more intimate festival, even if it also boasted its highest-ever attendance at 4,500 people. Both the panels I moderated were very well-attended, and I got to see existing friends and make some wonderful new ones. As well as patronise the very well maintained festival bookstore run by Gerakbudaya Bookshop. George Town is a lovely place to spend a long weekend, and the festival was run expertly well; I can’t thank all the organisers, staff and volunteers enough for making it such an enjoyable experience.
I had such a great time that I often forgot to take photos, but here are just a few.
With Jelena Dinic and Laksmi Pamuntjak after the Opening Ceremony
With Marc de Faoite and Sonny Liew in the festival bookstore
The festival bookstore run by Gerakbudaya was kind enough to stock some of my books
Lunch at a nearby hawker centre, with Sharon Bakar, Marc de Faoite, Anthony Cummins and Marco Ferrarese
With Zen Cho, Intan Paramaditha, Dorothy Tse and Felicia Yap, for “Braver Worlds: Visions of the Future/Past”
With Bernice Chauly and Edmund Wee, after Bernice’s novel Once We Were There won the inaugural Penang Monthly Book Prize
With Gerður Kristný, Zen Cho, Paul McVeigh and Arshia Sattar, for “When Immortals Walked Among Us”
Gerakbudaya Bookshop’s actual Penang store, to which I paid homage (and some money)
My final book haul: The Door by Dorothy Tse (trans. Natascha Bruce), Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse (trans. Nicky Harman); Bloodhoof by Gerður Kristný (trans. Rory McTurk); Taboo: Poems by Melizarani T. Selva; El Filibusterismo by José Rizal; and The Face: A Time Code by Ruth Ozeki.