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Karachi to host first international literary fest

books Updated: Feb 22, 2010 14:06 IST

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With the world showing tremendous interest in Pakistani writing, the port city of Karachi is gearing up to host its first international literary festival next month.

In the recent past, Karachi has been rocked by several deadly bombings and political violence that claimed dozens of lives but that hasn't dampened the spirit of residents, who are looking forward to feasting on the latest works of Urdu and English writers.

The seeds of organising the festival were apparently sown at the annual Jaipur Literary Fest, that has among its directors celebrated author William Dalrymple.

In Pakistan, Mohammed Hanif, the author of the acclaimed A Case of Exploding Mangoes, will head the show. "Karachi is a huge city. It probably needs a dozen literary festivals and although there are lots of poetry readings, book launches and an annual Urdu literary conference, it's about time it had an international literary festival," Hanif told the media.

"We want to tell the world that Karachi is not just about what you read in the headlines, there are people here who read and write books," said the reporter-turned-author.

People are showing interest in the festival and Hanif is politely answering queries on his Facebook page with "You are most welcome".

Much before Hanif's A Case of Exploding Mangoes became a bestseller, Pakistani authors Mohsin Hamid, Nadeem Aslam and Kamila Shamsie were names to reckon with.