The bookworm bonanza is back as the International Literature Festival kicks off today. Cutting the proverbial red ribbon on proceedings this evening is one of Turkey’s most prolific female authors, Elif Şafak. Setting the tone for this year’s festival, Şafak discusses perspectives on human rights and democracy, as well as the current situation in Turkey. All of it well worth the trek all the way out to Spichernstraße to catch her at 6pm at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. And that’s just the beginning of a 10 whole days of book launches, readings, workshops, talks and a whole heap of other literary loveliness (read our preview here)! During the whole duration of the festival, our A-Team (literally: Anu, Annie and Amy) will be reporting from the Hause Der Berliner Festspiele, covering the debates and discussions, taking in the talks and hopefully catching whatever else weird and wonderful happens in between. Amy has her eye on gender issues, Anu is going to be following diaspora authors and post-colonial themes and Annie is going to be our Congress Hopper, covering the International Congress for Democracy and Freedom, a series of talks and panels with luminaries from a range of fields, modelled on the original 1935 International Congress of Writers in Defence of Culture, which was concieved as a response to the rise of fascism. Stay tuned through September 16 for more blog entries, interviews, reviews and giveaways!