The Swansea writer will present his debut novel at the most important international literature festival

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Author Elaine Canning

A Belfast-born Swansea author will present her debut novel at a festival in India, billed as the world’s biggest literary event.

Elaine Canning has lived and worked in Swansea for 20 years as a writer and practitioner of public engagement in the arts and culture.’

He is currently the head of special projects at Swansea University including the Rhys Davies National Short Story Competition as well as an executive of the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Writing for Nation.Cymru in November, she said: “I now find myself occasionally being referred to as a ‘Welsh writer’, an assimilation that warms my heart, even if I don’t feel I deserved it.

“I am a writer in Wales, passionate about the literature and culture of Wales which feeds my daily life, from wonderful poets such as Vernon Watkins and R. S. Thomas to acclaimed award-winning contemporary writers.

“I am grateful to the Welsh literary and publishing world for welcoming me and my writing.”


Now, with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ms Canning will represent Northern Ireland when she attends the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) from 19-23 January.

The festival has a global following and this year’s program will include over 250 talks, readings, concerts and events.

He said, “I am happy to bring The Sandstone City to the pink city of Jaipur in January.

“I have been to the Jaipur Literature Festival twice before, in 2019 and 2020, and on both occasions I have interviewed a number of writers and represented Swansea University’s Dylan Thomas Prize.

“This is the first time, however, that I will be there as a full-fledged writer and I am extremely excited to be launching my debut novel there.

“Jaipur Literature Festival is indeed a very magical place, where you can share ideas and conversation in a very democratic environment.”


Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Theater at Arts Council NI, said: “The Jaipur Literary Festival is one of the largest literature festivals in the world and it’s fantastic to see it happen once again live and in person in 2023.

“In 2019 we were lucky enough to help host JLF Belfast and bring a local edition of the festival here to the public.

“This is an event quite unlike any other and it is so important to see Northern Irish writers represented on occasions like this, on stage, alongside their illustrious contemporaries.

“While there, Elaine will be chatting about her new book, but also interacting with writers and thinkers from around the world.”

The Sandstone City is set between present-day Belfast and the Spanish Civil War.

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