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Jaipur Literature Festival announced list of speakers

Irfan Ahmad 

The annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival announced recently that its 11th edition will take place from 25-29 January 2018 in Jaipur. ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival which has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million book lovers over the past decade, evolving into a global literary event. It encourages freedom of thought through a range of voices from India and abroad engaged in informed and enlightened dialogue and promotes above all a love for literature. Sanjoy K Roy, Producer, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “As we wait to celebrate yet another milestone year of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in 2018, we look forward to the infectious energy of intellectual debate and the dynamism that charges the Festival’s atmosphere and comes from a mingling of celebrated minds, diverse perspectives, and heightened cultural experiences. What is heartening is that this incredible global phenomenon that the Festival has evolved into is still deeply rooted in its core identity as a completely accessible and democratic platform.”

This year, the Festival will welcome over 250 writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from over 35 different nationalities. It will feature a spectacular line-up of speakers representing the major awards including the Nobel, Man Booker, Pulitzer, Padma Vibhusan and the Sahitya Akademi Award. The first list of speakers announced recently include Akhil Sharma, award-winning writer and creative writing professor; Amy Tan, author of the widely adapted book The Joy Luck Club; award-winning Indian film director and producer Anurag Kashyap, Indian art critic, art historian, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, BN Goswamy; former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai; English novelist and author of the iconic Bridget Jones Diary, Helen Fielding; Man Booker winner and author of The English Patient Michael Ondaatje; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter from The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team Michael Rezendes; Sahitya Akademi Award winner Mridula Garg; 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Mohammad Yunus, essayist and novelist Pico Iyer, best known for travel writing; New York Times bestselling poet and illustrator Rupi Kaur; Indian classical dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Sonal Mansingh; Indian philanthropist and writer Sudha Murty; Academy and Tony Award winning Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard; and Grammy Award winning tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, among others. Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, says, “This is a vintage year for the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, with an amazing line up of international and Indian writers and multiple strands of thoughtfully curated sessions. A space to interrogate our changing times and to encounter poetry and the dreaming mind, the Festival returns with its unique brand of magic, whimsy and intellectual rigour.”

 The discussions at the Festival will feature around works spanning both Indian and the international literary landscapes; translations will be under the spotlight too in a bid to reinforce a diverse and flavourful cultural matrix. The 2018 edition expects to welcome speakers representing over 15 Indian and more than 20 international languages. William Dalrymple, writer, historian and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, says, “2018 may be the best Jaipur ever, fielding an unrivalled literary ‘First Eleven’ made up of star poets and acclaimed novelists, historians and biographers, thinkers and dreamers and scribblers and critics, genii and half the faculty of Harvard. It’s an astonishing line up and I can’t wait for the 25th of January to see it all become a reality.”

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