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1 – 3 Nov 2019


Adelaide Festival Centre


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From the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival comes the annual transnational celebration of cultural connections and new perspectives.

This year JLF Adelaide invites you to take a ride around Asia with some of the region’s most celebrated writers, thinkers and performers, in an event that combines talks, panels, and readings with music and performances. Join us for conversations about myth, privilege, history, violence, gender, hope, and peculiar places.

This is an event not to be missed.


Receive priority entry to all talks with premium seating, a special-edition welcome pack and an invitation to an exclusive event with writers and producers. Buy a ticket now – limited number available!


Advocate Pass holders receive all the benefits of a Delegate Pass plus a ticket to two of the following OzAsia Festival performances:
Outwitting the Devil by Akram Khan
Since Ali Died by Omar Musa
My Home at the Intersection by Abhishek Thapar


Tony Birch (AUS) Mridula Nath Chakraborty (AUS) Melanie Cheng (AUS) James Crabtree (UK/SGP) William Dalrymple (UK/IND) Robert Dessaix (AUS) Frank Dikötter (NLD) Lok Fung (HKG) Namita Gokhale (IND) Paulo Lemos Horta (UAE) Tony Joseph (IND) Sheng Keyi (CHN) Manisha Koirala (IND) David Malouf (AUS) Wu Ming-Yi (TWN) Omar Musa (AUS) Intan Paramaditha (IDN) Ahronglong Sakinu (TWN) Melizarani T. Selva (MYS) Ranjana Srivastava (AUS) Baiyi Sun (TWN) Abhishek Thapar (IND/NLD) Shashi Tharoor (IND) Usha Uthup (IND) Charlotte Wood (AUS) A Yi (CHN) Paul Zacharia (IND)

There are few experiences as unsettling as that of being displaced, be it by the fantastical as in Sheng Keyi’s dystopian novel Death Fugue – a story about a man, and a storm – or by death, when  in Wu Ming-Yi’s award-winning novel The Stolen Bicycle, a man searches for his missing father’s bicycle. In Melanie Cheng’s novel Room for a Stranger, a visiting student from Hong Kong moves in with an elderly woman in Melbourne. Or in reaching back into a fabled past, as Paulo Lemos Horta considers in both Aladdin and the Arabian Nights.

Welcome to the performers: the artists who tell their stories on stage. Abhishek Thapar is a master performer whose work explores memories, history  and the idea of home. Actress, activist and cancer survivor Manisha Koirala looks back at her long career, and offers a message of hope. As does Usha Uthup, one of India’s most  celebrated  singers of  pop, jazz, film and playback as well as a long-time advocate for love and unity. More  controversially,  spoken word poet Melizarani T. Selva explores taboos – about women, identity and empowerment.

Celebrated writer and Festival Co-Director, William Dalrymple returns to Adelaide with a new book, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, a timely consideration of trade and power. Also with a new book, How To Be A Dictator, Frank Dikötter considers eight of the despots of the 20th century. Long-time Asia commentator James Crabtree explores India’s recent wealth in his award–winning book The Billionaire Raj. And for the first time, politician-turned- writer Shashi Tharoor visits with Inglorious Empire, his best-selling exploration of the Indian experience of British colonialism.

As we age, we begin to wonder how to die. In her hugely anticipated new novel, The Weekend, Charlotte Wood wrestles with death though the story of four old friends. As an oncologist and writer, Ranjana Srivastava explores ways of dying in her most recent book A Better Death, a practical approach to life’s end. Intan Paramaditha explores sex and death in the supernatural stories that make up the collection Apple and Knife. More joyfully, Robert Dessaix offers us a guide to the considered life in The Pleasures of Leisure.


Full program announced online in September 2019

Festival Directors: William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale
Festival Producer: Sanjoy K. Roy
Produced by: Teamwork Arts
Advisor: Laura Kroetsch



*$8.95 transaction fee applies.

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre