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Jaipur Literature Festival at the British Library 2024 – Heavy hitters: Mishal Husain, Maggie O’Farrell, Elif Shafak, Paul Lynch, Shekhar Kapur and Sathnam Sanghera feature …

Jaipur Literature Festival at the British Library 2024 – Heavy hitters: Mishal Husain, Maggie O’Farrell, Elif Shafak, Paul Lynch, Shekhar Kapur and Sathnam Sanghera feature …

It is the 11th time the festival has come to London and starts this evening…

SOME OF the world’s leading authors will be talking about their work and ideas as the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) rolls into London from today through till Sunday (June 9).

Mishal Husain has a new book, ‘Broken Threads

It all begins at the British Library King’s Cross this evening with an opening inaugural address by India’s High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Vikram Doraiswami, Jaipur Literature Festival co-founder Namita Gokhale and main producer Sanjoy Roy being among those welcoming festival-goers.

Just as in the Pink City of Jaipur, each full day at the festival starts with live music – and tomorrow (June 8), sarod virtuoso Debasmita Bhattacharya and tabla maestro Gurdain Ryatt get the day’s programme under way.

Professor Sunny Singh, author of
A Bollywood State of Mind’

Among those speaking on Saturday morning are historian and phenomenally successful Empire Podcast co-host William Dalrymple, and another co-founder of the original JLF (now 17 years old); and historian Katherine Schofield, as the pair discuss Music and Musicians in Late Mughal India.

Diplomat and ‘Q&A’ novelist – Vikas Swarup will discuss Multipolar Disorders with celebrated award winning foreign correspondent and Malala biographer Christina Lamb and other writers, Selma Dabbagh and Shashank Bengali. Swarup’s novel was adapted for the screen, becoming the Oscar triumphant, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

Elif Shafak

One of the highlights on Saturday will be the Bollywood State of Mind session that will see academic, novelist and now ‘A Bollywood State of Mind: A Journey into the World’s Biggest Cinema’ author Sunny Singh, take to the floor with veteran UK journalist and film programmer, Nasreen Munir Kabir and they will be joined by Yasser Usman.

Also of interest and part of JLF, is Dr Anu Kumar’s walking tour, ‘A London Lark Rising’, which charts the rise of the East India Company, and is also loosely based around characters from an earlier play by Kumar. The East India company was created by a group of traders in the City of London and the walk takes a group to important buildings and there are enactments of what it might have been like in times goneby. saw a version of it last year and it’s highly recommended. The tour on Friday (7) is sold out but there are tickets available for next week. (See link below).

Comedian Nish Kumar

Comedian Anuvab Pal brings his funny and idiosyncratic analysis of what divides the two nations in comedy.

Among the other subjects that day are Sikh history, Ethical Economics, the Genius of Stephen Hawking, as well Bengali fiction and short stories.

One of the UK’s best known Indian vocalists Supriya Nagrajan and Duncan Chapman will open Sunday with morning music.

Film director Shekhar Kapur

Literary stars Mary Beard, perhaps best known for her TV documentaries on the Romans in Britain, and romantic novelist Elif Shafak are among the big hitters on Sunday – along with BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain, who will be talking about Partition with broadcaster and co-‘Empire Podcast’ host, Anita Anand. Husain’s book, ‘Broken Threads’ officially came out yesterday (June 6). It is a family history and Partition is a major theme.

Novelist Maggie O’Farrell talks about her latest novel, ‘The Marriage Portrait’ set in Renaissance Italy and chronicling the story of the 16-year-old Lucrezia, daughter of the powerful and influential Cosimo de Medici. O’Farrell enjoyed great success with her previous novel, ‘Hamnet’, a fictionalised portrait of Hamlet’s son who passed away at the age of 11. Playwright Lolita Chakrabarti adapted the novel for an equally successful stage version and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Sathnam Sanghera has a new book,
‘Empire World’

Nobel laureate and former Royal Society President Venki Ramakrishnan discusses life and death and the science of im/mortality, while Satham Sanghera on the end section of his ‘Empire World’ book tour, dissects Race, Class and Education with Kalwant Bhopal, Jan Royall and Kiran Trehan.

Film director Shekhar Kapur talks about his life in film with JLF producer Sanjoy Roy; comedian Nish Kumar delivers a session on satire and news shows with Coco Khan; and 2023 Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch talks to Claire Armistead about his pathbreaking, ’Prophet Song’.

Sanjoy Roy, Teamworks Arts, producer of JLF

The day ends with a show of sorts as several West End performers – Hassun Sharif, Melad Hamidi and Ayesha Patel and Hamza Jahanzeb take centre stage.



The Jaipur Literature Festival at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB – June 7-9, programme starts 6pm TODAY (June 7).

Day and weekend tickets available –

Programme details –

Info/tickets: A London Lark Rising walking tour –

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture