Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 : A decade and it still shines brighter as ever!

The 11th Edition of the Jaipur Literature Fest is all set of wow us with an impressive lineup of literati spanning across themes of poetry, politics, environment and gender. 350 speakers from over 35 countries grace the 11th edition of the Lit Fest.


Since its inception in 2006, hordes of people – from teachers in small villages to students and aspiring authors – have been travelling to Jaipur to attend its mammoth Literature Festival; many of whom can’t even afford hotel stays and end up living at railway stations. A true phenomenon in itself, the Festival has had a huge domino effect, with thousands of book clubs and lit fests rippling across the country over the past 10 years.

If there’s one thing I can assure you of, it is that you cannot possibly scroll through the list of speakers at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 without gasping out loud with sheer awe! The speaker line-up for this year’s ‘Kumbh Mela of Literature’ includes an eye-popping train of 350 authors and poets, journalists, politicians and cultural icons from over 35 countries, including awardees of the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Padma Vibhusan and the Sahitya Akademi Award.

A labour of love, the Festival is a brainchild of directors William Dalrymple, Namita Gokhale and Sanjoy Roy, who often describe it as a ‘happy accident’ that was born at a coffee table. Language is a major priority for Festival Director Namita Gokhale, who has often emphasised on the importance of finding, not only a place but also a platform for the lesser known, non-mainstream languages in the Festival. This year’s Festival represents over 15 Indian and 20 international languages. Namita Gokhale has also spoken very excitedly in the curtain raiser about other sessions that will address the lesser known – such as sessions with the Chinese and Jewish minorities of India, and those on Dalit writing and the women poets of the Vedas.

Historian and author William Dalrymple has managed to bring on board playwright Thomas Stoppard who is best known for Shakespeare in Love, journalist Adrian Levy of The Guardian, Michael Ondaatje who won the Man Booker Prize for The English Patient, and one of the most celebrated contemporary authors of today Amy Tan.

Indian veterans like Sahitya Akademi Award winner Mridula Garg; director-producer Anurag Kashyap; Indian art critic, art historian, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, BN Goswamy; Indian classical dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Sonal Mansingh; Indian philanthropist and writer Sudha Murty and politician-writer Shashi Tharoor are also making an appearance.

Also not to be missed in 2018, are the sessions with former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai; Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus; and Michael Rezendes, from the award-winning team of investigative journalists at The Boston Globe that the Oscar-winning Spotlight portrayed. And last but not the least, tribute sessions on PG Wodehouse and The Beatles’ legacy are unmissable.

The 2nd edition of the enormously successful ‘The First Book Club New Writers Mentorship Programme’, a program where aspiring writers are invited to send in entries for their own book ideas, in the year 2018,received more than 250 entries from which 20 were shortlisted and invited to present their work to the Jaipur Book Mark 2017 leading to signed deals with book agents and publications.

The 11th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival is open from25th January to 29th January at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel. In line with the Festival’s core value to serve as a democratic and non-aligned platform that offers fair access, entry is free and open to all.

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