Travel writer Paul Theroux to speak at Singapore Writers Festival this year

Travel writer Paul Theroux to speak at Singapore Writers Festival this year
American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux.

SINGAPORE - The annual Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) will be back this year with a line-up of authors and programmes centred around the theme 'The Prospect of Beauty'.

Held from Oct 31 to Nov 9, this year's festival intends to "celebrate beauty in writing, literature and the world around us".

Nearly 200 Singapore and international writers are expected to participate in over 250 events, comprising panel discussions, lectures, poetry readings, literary meals and more.

International literary greats, such as American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux, leading figure in the feminist movement, social critic and political activist Naomi Wolf, and science fiction and fantasy author Raymond E. Feist, are among the few notable writers who will be attending the fetival this year.

Other writers attending the festival include Man Booker Prize writer Karen Joy Fowler, Irish poet Paul Muldoon, three-time US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, as well as Jonathan Lethem, who is best-known for his genre-bending fiction; Barry Lopez, often regarded as the most important living writer on nature and human culture; American journalist, novelist and war correspondent William Vollmann; and prolific women's fiction author Adele Parks.

This year's festival, which is in its 17th edition this year, will also welcome two new venues: the Children's Wing of the National Museum of Singapore and Centre 42, a newly-opened space for playwriting and original theatre content.

There will also be a line-up of Malay, Chinese and Tamil authors and programmes. Some of the headlining authors include Wives and Concubines author, Su Tong from China; Mai Jia, who is affectionately known as the 'father of Chinese suspense'; Malaysian author Evelyn Rose; and feminist poet and filmmaker Leena Manimekalai from India.

Literary Seminars conducted in Chinese, Malay and Tamil will also be held, while the Festival's annual accompanying Publishing Symposium will host two sessions on publishing for the China and Malaysian markets.

Commenting on this year's line-up and programming, festival director Paul Tan said: "The Festival stays true to its mission to inspire, excite and engage fans of the literary arts through thought-provoking topics and diverse programming. We hope this year's offerings will bring readers back to basics - by reminding them to take pleasure in the lyrical beauty of words, a well-formed poem, or an immersive novel."

Festival passes and tickets are on sale now at Sistic. Visit For more information on SWF2014, visit

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