Every literature enthusiast has heard the name ‘Jaipur Literature Festival’. Here’s a quick look at what to expect this year.
A wonderland for those who seek intellectual exploration, Jaipur Literature Festival is definitely one of the greatest literature festivals on Earth. With its illustrious growth in the past decade, JLF has not only evolved into a haven for writers, thinkers, humanitarians, political enthusiasts, business leaders, sportspeople and entertainers, it has also become an evangelist of India’s rich, diverse and colourful literary heritage.
JLF features speakers from all around the world and from every domain within the larger literary world. The 12th edition featured an impressive line-up of literature heavyweights, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Colson Whitehead and Andrew Sean Greer; the iconic author of thriller novels, Jeffery Archer; Sven Beckert, professor of history at Harvard; author and former Indian Ambassador to the United States, Navtej Sarna; captain of the Indian women’s national cricket team and Padma Shri awardee, Mithali Raj; American classicist and author, Donna Zuckerberg; and the famous politician and author, Shashi Tharoor.
With such a stellar line-up, interesting topics were bound to emerge. From discussions on foundational questions like where fiction comes from to debates on current topics like the Brexit and India’s most enduring obsession over cricket, the 12th edition left no card unturned.
Nevertheless, the 13th edition of JLF seems even more exciting and entertaining and will help stimulate your intellectual juices. Scheduled to be organised from January 23 till January 27, the festival will take place at its birthplace – The Diggy Palace. The ethnic and grandiose architecture of the palace serves as an apt backdrop to entice that creative vibe.
This year’s line-up has about 250 prolific speakers, of whom 114 are award-winning authors. Some of our home-grown, Indian speakers include the Nobel Laureate for Economics, Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who will be talking about the alleviating global poverty; one of the most iconic writers and poets of the country, Javed Akhtar; Magsaysay Award-winning journalist, Ravish Kumar; celebrated Hindi poet and critic, Ashok Vajpeyi; writer of Sanskrit dictionaries, Oscar Pujol; programme head of the Sanskrit Language Department at the American Institute of Indian Studies, Madhura Godbole; and returning speaker, Shashi Tharoor.
Few of the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors include, Stephen Greenblatt, a very reputed literary historian, who wrote the New York Times bestseller The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Dexter Filkins, American journalist who gave us The Forever War; and Paul Muldoon, an Irish poet and the author of Moy Sand and Gravel.
Along with the discussions and talks by these eminent speakers, the entire facility will be filled with amazing stalls that can give you an encyclopaedic journey of India. In one corner, you will find book launches by your favourite authors, on the other side, you will get to experience mouth-watering delicacies of Rajasthan. There are also a wide range of workshops and contests that have been designed to assist aspiring authors and writers to get a platform.
Furthermore, this year they will start an all-new initiative called iWrite which aims to provide mentorship to storytellers, poets and literary enthusiasts by experts in the field. With a nominal handling fee of INR 1000, you can enter your story, poem or essay and if your entry makes it to the top 10 shortlists, you will get a platform to share your work and receive feedback from international publishers, literary agents and other industry experts which can open your doors to signing a book deal!
Songs are one of the most beautiful manifestations of words and JLF understands its importance quite well. Every morning will begin with a session of Morning Music featuring Indian classical musicians like Nirali Kartik, the trio of Trayam, and Supriya Nagarajan so that you can have an enchanting time while sipping your coffee or tea. They also have a designated stage, titled Jaipur Music Stage, solely dedicated to grand musical concerts of folk and international music. And this year, you can catch a performance by Parvaaz, Lisa Marie Simmons, and Ricky Kej.
With so much happening in just one hotspot, one is bound to be overwhelmed with the power of literature. If you love books and words, JLF is the best place to be.
Checkout Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 schedule at: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/programme
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