Emirates Airline Festival: A Literary Oasis Amid the Dazzle of Dubai

By Ann Kirkland

It has been a long and brutal winter in Toronto. So, when I was invited to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in early March, I took only a few minutes to respond with an eager yes.

It’s not that I knew much about Dubai or had harbored a desire to visit. But being a curious cat, I wanted to see what this place was all about, how people felt about living there, and how books figured in their lives.

As with everywhere I have traveled, I found a place of far more complexity, texture, and nuance than I had anticipated. Wherever you find people, you find vast diver...

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