Two Renowned Authors to Speak at Zayed University during Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

03 Feb 2022

Alka Joshi, a New York Times bestseller, and Sara Gay Forden (Author of the ‘House of Gucci’, which was recently taken out to the public as a motion picture directed by Ridley Scott), are both guest speakers at Zayed University (ZU) during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Their talks, which were organized by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences ZU, will respectively take place in Dubai campus on February 3rd and February 10th, 2022.

At age 62, Joshi published her debut novel, The Henna Artist, which immediately became a New York Times bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and is being developed into an episodic series by Miramax TV. The sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, premiered June 2021, and will be followed by the third book in the trilogy in 2023.

Joshi approaches historical fiction to highlight women’s role in any given era, what their thoughts were and their struggles, especially when History was largely dominated by men, who have focused on wars, politics and economic policies developed by male leaders. Historical fiction removes the distance between history and character. And characters are what good storytelling is all about. It’s what interests both female and male readers.

For more than 15 years, Sara Gay Forden covered the Italian fashion industry from Milan, chronicling the explosion of labels including Gucci, Armani, Versace, Prada and Ferragamo from family ateliers into mega brands. She is now based in Washington, D.C. with Bloomberg News, leading a team that covers lobbying and the challenges faced by big technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

In this talk, Sara will discuss how a handful of large corporations have achieved the power that they have, and what is actually being done by policymakers to rein them in following questions surrounding data, privacy, and criticism that Big Tech is exacerbating real-world harms.

From the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust cases against Google and Facebook to investigations of Apple and Amazon, and more, we’ll be uncovering the structural and ethical integrity of the companies that underpin our daily lives.

The visit is a part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Educational Program, which spotlights award-winning authors and illustrators. Zayed University supports the weeklong initiative by ensuring students' literature engagement, knowledge development, and reading skills improvement to contribute to and advance all aspects of society.