Come January and all book lovers around the world look forward to Earth’s greatest literary festival — Jaipur Literature Festival, better known as JLF. And 2017 is going to grand as JLF turns 10! Let’s take a sneak peek into what JLF has in store for us this year.
As always, JLF is going to have a vast array of speakers sharing their insight on a multitude of ideas, topics and themes including a look at the nation, Freedom to Dream – India at 70 which explores India today in the context of its history as well as its future, Translations and World Literature, Women and Marginalised Voices, Sanskrit, and Colonialism and the Legacy of the Raj.
Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival says: “We live in times where the cycles of change are puzzling, often disruptive. Books are the answers to these puzzles, literature is the force that links and binds human stories, and contemplates the human situation. In an increasingly parochial and polarised world, literature helps us scale the walls. And translation is the tool that helps us access cultures and knowledge systems.
This year’s festival is more multi vocal than ever before, with about thirty languages represented there. Translation is a key focus and a variety of strands and themes including the constitution, the Magna Carta, Sanskrit, the movements from the margins to the centre, examine the ideals, the ideologies, the realpolitik, of our world, as well as the freedom of the dreaming imagination.”
William Dalrymple, writer and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “It’s been an extraordinary journey from 16 attendees ten years ago to a third a million today. On the way we have brought many of the world’s greatest writers to India and showcased Indian writing to the world. We have ignited a million minds to the wonders of literature. This year will be our most irresistible spread of literary genius yet. Roll on the 19th of January!”
With around 30 languages represented from India and across the world, the Festival will feature authors writing in Indian regional languages including the popular Volga in Telugu, S.L. Bhyrappa and Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Kaajal Oza Vaidya in Gujarati, C.P. Deval and Hari Ram Meena in Rajasthani, Kanak Dixit and Binod Chaudhary in Nepali, Dhrubajyoti Bora in Assamese, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar in Urdu, Jatindra K. Nayak in Oriya, NaseemShafaie and Neerja Mattoo in Kashmiri, Arunava Sinha and Radha Chakravarty in Bengali and Arshia Sattar, A.N.D. Haksar, and Roberto Calasso in Sanskrit. Writers in Hindi include Ajay Navaria, Anu Singh Choudhary, Manav Kaul, Mrinal Pande, Narendra Kohli and Yatindra Mishra. Making his first appearance at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in 2017 is 2016 Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sellout Paul Beatty, the first American author to win the award since the inclusion of non-Commonwealth English language fiction in 2014. Beatty began his writing career as a poet in 1991 publishing the anthologies Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce and the novels, The White Boy Shuffle, Tuff and Slumberland. The Sellout also won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2016.
Here is a list of selective speakers attending JLF this year:
Valmik Thapar has spent four decades serving the cause of wild India. During this time, he has authored, co-authored and edited more than 25 books and made or presented nearly a dozen films for the BBC and other networks on the tiger and Indian flora and fauna. His last book was Saving Wild India: A Blueprint for Change, which sought to provide workable solutions to protect India’s wildlife. Other recent books include Winged Fire, the concluding book in the trilogy that features Wild Fire and Tiger Fire. Thapar is also the founder of the Ranthambore Foundation, a major non-governmental organisation dedicated to conserving wildlife. He is currently a member of the Rajasthan Board of Wildlife and has helped the state government formulate the Van Dhan Yojanaa, a holistic forest conservation scheme.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is titled Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy. He has spoken at numerous prestigious events such as the UN Millennium World Peace Summit, TED Talks, the World Economic Forum and the Indian Economic Summit. Sadhguru is also the founder of Isha Foundation, an international, nonprofit, volunteer-run organisation with over 7 million volunteers across the world. The Isha Foundation runs large scale grass root projects in health, education and environment and includes Isha Vidhya, a rural education project, and Project GreenHands, the largest ecological project in Asia having planted over 27 million trees.
Shashi Tharoor is a politician, former diplomat and current Member of Parliament as well as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. In addition to his political work, he is an acclaimed author of 15 works of fiction and non-fiction. He worked as a contributing editor for Newsweek International and has written for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Times of India. He continues to write an internationally syndicated monthly column for Project Syndicate. His works of fiction include The Great Indian Novel and Show Business, and his non-fiction work includes India: From Midnight to the Millennium, Pax India: India and the World of the 21st Century and, most recently, An Era of Darkness: Empire in India.
Rishi Kapoor is one of India’s most popular film stars. He debuted as a child actor in his father Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus Mera Naam Joker, winning a National Award for his performance. His first lead role came with Bobby, a blockbuster that established a new template for the teeny-bopper romance in Hindi cinema. In the 1970s, a decade known for Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’ films, Kapoor not only held his own but also carved a niche for himself in a series of musical hits like Khel Khel Mein, Laila Majnu, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, Sargam and Karz. He was also the perfect foil to Bachchan in some of the most celebrated hits of the era like Kabhi Kabhie, Amar Akbar Anthony, Naseeb and Coolie. Over the last decade, Kapoor has delivered some of the finest performances of his career in a diverse array of roles ranging from a middle-class school teacher in Do Dooni Char, a dreaded don in D-Day, a pimp in Agneepath and a naughty grand old patriarch in Kapoor & Sons; far removed from the chocolate-boy romantic hero of the 1970s.
Register for JLF here
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