How did Humpty Dumpty fall? Can we know? Must we ask?

The King has promised me — with his very own mouth — to — to —

Did Humpty Dumpty fall, or was he pushed?
‘To send all his horses and all his men,’ Alice interrupted, rather unwisely.

‘Now I declare that’s too bad!’ Humpty Dumpty cried, breaking into a sudden passion.

‘You’ve been listening at doors — and behind trees — and down chimneys — or you couldn’t have known it!’

‘I haven’t indeed!’ Alice said very gently. ‘It’s in a book.’

The Fairway Galle Literary Festival offers you all the fun of listening at doors – and behind trees – and down chimneys – rather rare in the tropics – with much less work!

From 24 to 28 January 2018, Galle will once more come alive with the secret lives of murderers and madmen, of travelers and trains, of queens and quadrangles, all revealed in books.

Did Humpty Dumpty fall, or was he pushed? Can we know? Must we ask?

… A Note from the Festival Curator


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Why do people go to Lit. Fests?

. . . Mingle with . . . Discover why . . . Ponder over . . .


We believe in the pleasure of story and the transformative power of literature and knowledge. We want to create opportunities for you to mingle, discover and ponder . . .

We offer you events where the hair stands up on the back of your neck during a spellbinding reading; where you roar with laughter or struggle to control your tears as writers get to the bottom of what makes them do what they do; where you suddenly see what a book has meant to or for a particular reader.

What you can do, see and experience at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka

At The Fairway Galle Literary Festival, you will find:

1. Famous Writers: For most of us a chance to meet a famous writer, to listen to way he speaks, what motivates him or her, to have a book signed is probably the most motivating factor, and the FGLF has offered this in abundance: Sir Arthur C. Clark, Germaine Greer, Vikram Seth, Edna O’Brien, Ian Rankin, Michael Morpurgo, Candace Bushnell, Sir Tom Stoppard, Alexander McCall Smith, Chimmimanda Ngozi Ardiche amd Maddhur Jaffrey are among the writers whose presence meant that within one year Harper’s had named it the Number 1 Festival in the world.

2. The Bigger Picture: Expanding the boundaries of literature, the festival has had some of the finest writers of non-fiction lined up for intellectual jousting: Richard Dawkins, Anthony Beevoir, Christina Lamb, Pico Iyer, Sir Mark Tully. Lesley Hazleton, Simon Winchester, Shashi Taroor and more.

3. The Booker Bonanza: Many of the writers have either won the Booker Prize or were on the short list: Kiran Desai and Colm Toibin are among this very select group, and we have more at the 2018 Festival (Register Here).

4. The Sri Lankan Factor: The Festival is a chance to meet both local and diaspora writers: Shyam Selvalduarai, Romesh Gunasekara, Nuri Vitachi, Ashok Ferrey and Channa Daswatte.

5. Poetry/Plays/Cultural Shows, Cabarets and Fine Dinners: As the sun goes down Galle comes alive with entertainment of a different kind . . . we have had wine tastings with Jancis Robinson, gin tastings and gourmet dinners with the most famous of chefs: the late Rose Gray, Rick Stein, David Thomson, Skye Gygnell, Peter Kuravita, Madhur Jaffrey, to name a few . . . we have a an infused arrack tasting next year.

6. Workshops and Specialist Talks and Walks: Among the first events to sell out are the Galle Fort walks by Channa Daswatte and Mrs Cader. Professor Robson always does a good one on architecture.

7. Young People: There are ample opportunities for the young to get involved, and they don’t just read Harry Potter! During the next lit. fest we will have three debates among local schools, both boys and girls – it will be interesting to see who wins! The event will be chaired by the only Sri Lankan of the Oxford Union who has not been assassinated!

And some people just want to be with friends and mingle and be part of a social event . . . but most people have what the Thais call “sanuk” – a sense of fun – they may even learn something!

… A Note from the Festival Founder