Jaipur Literature Festival 2016: Bigger and Better!

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The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, described as the greatest literary show of all times, recently announced 165 world-class Indian and International authors set to contribute to a spectacular line up for its 2016 event. Taking place from 21 to 25 January 2016 at the beautiful and historic Hotel Diggi Palace, the ninth edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival sees leading authors of our times coming together in a global celebration of literature.Jaipur Literature Festival

Headline names set to appear at the festival this year include the legendary Margaret Atwood, poet,novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist, even as her new novel, ‘The Heart Goes Last’ is appreciated by her many fans around the world; Ruskin Bond, beloved to generations of Indian readers;Steve McCurry one of the world’s greatest living photographers; controversial Harvard historian Nial Ferguson and Britain’s national treasure Stephen Fry. French Economist and global voice on wealth and income inequality Thomas Piketty, Bosnian American fiction writer Aleksandar Hemon, Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman, and India’s most celebrated psychoanalyst and author Sudhir Kakar take centre-stage alongside some of India’s leading writers, including prominent Hindi poet and author Uday Prakash, Sahitya Akademi Awardees in the world of Assamese literature Rita Chowdhury and Dhrubajyoti Bora as well as prominent Gujarati poet and scholar Sitanshu Yashaschandra, among others.

The 2016 Festival embraces and explores globally vital issues such as migration, privacy and navigating change, bringing together a range of expertise and perspectives on stage throughout the five days. Homi Bhabha from the Mahindra Humanities Centre curates a strand of sessions around the theme of privacy in the contemporary world. Contributors include British author and columnist Ben Macintyre. Frontline reporters discuss conflict and its effect on the modern world with American reporter Dexter Filkins, English foreign correspondent Christina Lamb and CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen. Science communicator, children’s author, journalist and novelist Lucy Hawking speaks of her extraordinary journey in transmitting the awe, wonder, and understanding of our universe to young readers.

As ever, the festival celebrates the rich diversity of languages in South Asia. Leading Indian writers include Mridula Sinha, Alka Saraogi, Ashok Vajpeyi, Yatindra Mishra, Prabhat Ranjan, Harish Trivedi and Mridul Kirti in Hindi, Anita Agnihotri in Bangla, Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Ila Arab Mehta in Gujarati, Madhav Hada in Rajasthani, Makarand Sathe in Marathi, Sahil Maqbool in Kashmiri, and many others including the Santhali publisher Ruby Hembrom. The languages given voice in the programme so far include Assamese,Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Pahadi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Santhali, Tamil and Urdu with more to be announced soon. Our focus on the rich oral heritage of Rajasthan continues with a session on the Kaavad traditions of illustrated storytelling and performance. The unique multi-lingual flavour of the festival is further enhanced by the presence of international languages such as French, German, Spanish, Japanese,Icelandic and Slovenian. After two successful seasons, Jaipur BookMark continues to be an important business and networking opportunity for everybody working in the books and publishing industry. The two day Jaipur BookMark conference will be held alongside the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel on 21 and 22 January 2016. From self-publishing to e-books, digital content to distribution, this business to business platform will host both international and Indian publishing communities, providing them with a public forum to meet, talk business deals, listen to speakers from across the world and perhaps even sign contracts. Jaipur BookMark in 2016 brings an important new focus on translations and rights.

Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and co-Director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is propelled by ideas and the excitement of real-time conversations. We bring together the finest minds from across the world and explore our changing times through sessions on economics, politics and the sciences. Yet we remain rooted in local culture and language, and our literary perspective is always from the grassroots upwards. The spreading Banyan tree of the Jaipur Literature Festival has found root and sustenance in its recent Southbank London and Boulder Colorado editions. The spirit of our festival, which is spontaneous and democratic, continues to inspire readers and writers alike as it creates a crucial space for books, ideas and dialogue.

William Dalrymple, writer and co-Director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “Each year at Jaipur we try to produce a programme more remarkable than the year before, but this year has to be our most astonishing line up ever. Among the international authors appearing this year we present writers of genius as diverse as economist Thomas Picketty and humourist and polymath Stephen Fry. We import some of the world’s most admired novelists, including Margaret Atwood, Colm Toibin and David Grossman, as well as arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer, Colin Thubron. We deeply delve into three areas of world literature we have so far failed to explore- notably the novelists and poets of the Balkans, the Caribbean and Central America- while returning to examine eternal classics such as the work of Shakespeare, Proust and Andaal. We will explore a vast range of subjects from Neanderthals to Hedge Fund Managers; the bleak depths of depression to the heights of the Silk Road; universal myths of the Deluge to the literature of the Sandanistas; Jamaican rap and mediaeval mystic poetry; the agoniesof Gaza and the pleasures of the Kama Sutra. It’s going to be an incredible few days and I can’t wait forJanuary so that we can get started!”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Director of Teamwork Arts who produce the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival has established itself as one of the greatest literary gatherings in the world. The core values of it remain the same, to create a platform that celebrates freedom of expression and ideas bringing together the very best writers from across the world to one of the most magical and atmospheric historic sites in a celebration of literature open and equal to all.  This year Teamwork Arts has extended the festival into two overseas locations, the Southbank in London and Boulder in Colorado USA to give people overseas just a taste of what they can experience in Jaipur, and we know already that some will now travel to join us for what promises to be one of the best years ever.”

Registration can be found here: http://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/registration/

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Tusharika Singh

Long texts over calls | Food, music and books over people | Chai over everything else | Statutory Warning: Allergic to morons



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