Literary events light up Vancouver

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      In the four short years since it set out to help strengthen cultural bonds between Canada and South Asia, Indian Summer has made a name for itself as one of the city’s most vibrant and eclectic festivals.

      Dance, music, visual art, film, and food will all be there once again when this year’s edition runs from July 3 to 12, along with a literary component that’s arguably Indian Summer’s strongest suit—not surprising when you consider that among the festival’s founding partners are the producers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest free event of its kind in the world.

      July 4 alone gives an idea of the range. Starting at 6 p.m. at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, acclaimed poets Priscila Uppal and Renée Saklikar meet for a conversation on the nature of tragedy and hope. Then, two hours later, Commonwealth Prize–winning author Rana Dasgupta takes the same stage to talk about Capital, his piercing study of Delhi and its extremes of wealth and poverty. Check out Indian Summer’s complete lineup at their website.

      And don’t forget the Downtown Eastside as a literary focal point this summer, especially for aspiring authors. The fantastically named Academy for Young Writers, Astronauts, Pirates, and Wizards will commandeer the Strathcona Community Centre for dates throughout July and August, offering kids between 11 and 16 creative-writing workshops on everything from fiction to screenwriting and music journalism. See the Young Writers Academy website for details.