More than 500 authors from the around the world will descend on the Indian city over the next few days…
COMMONLY described as the greatest literary show on earth – the Jaipur Literature Festival gets under way tomorrow (February 1).
Now in its 17th edition, a dizzying array of authors and thinkers from around the world will gather at Hotel Clarks Amer in the Pink City, as it is also known. There are 550 speakers lined up for five day festival from February 1-5.
There will be 16 Indian and eight international languages recognised this year.
Among the high profile authors are Paul Lynch, winner of the 2023 Booker Prize for ‘Prophet Song’, and the Irish star is joined by another Booker Prize winner and Jaipur regular, South African Damon Galgut. Best-selling British author Richard Osman is another high profile literary figure in Jaipur.
The other literary stars to appear this year include Amish Tripathi, Hernan Diaz, Ben Macintyre, Bonnie Garmus, Richard Osman, Peter Frankopan, Colin Thubron, Mary Beard, Kai Bird, Katie Kitamura, Monica Ali, Nicholas Shakespeare, Luke Syon, Katherine Rundell, Merve Emre, Vincent Brown, Amia Srinivasan, Patrick Radden Keefe, and Jerry Brotton.
Kal Penn, US actor and one time White House staffer in the Barack Obama administration will be talking about his candid memoir, ‘You Can’t Be Serious’ (2020).
Another big draw will be Sudha Murty, the wife of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. A prolific author herself both in her native Kannada and English – a memoir by Chitra Banerjee about her early courtship and subsequent marriage to one of India’s best-known tech tycoons, ‘An Uncommon Love: The Early Life of Sudha and Narayana Murthy’, has proved a massive bestseller and the couple have been in the media spotlight ever since its publication. Sudha’s daughter is Akshata who is married to current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Daisy Rockwell and Indian Hindi writer Geetanjali Shree will also be in attendance. The two are behind the 2022 International Booker Prize winning translation of ‘Tomb of Sand’ from Hindi to English.
British based Dr Reshma Ruia will be another author in high demand – her book, ‘Still Lives’ and short story collection, ‘Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness’ has won her a legion of fans.
Many gathered this evening (January 31) at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur for a special pre-festival dinner.
William Dalrymple, author, historian and founder & co-director of JLF, said: “Every year we try and raise the bar at the Jaipur Literature Festival, but 2024 will be our finest festival yet.
“We are proud to present almost all the year’s most celebrated writers from around the world: the greatest novelists & poets, environmentalists and investigative journalists, historians and biographers, scientists and economists, artists and art historians, travel writers and humourists, literary critics and philosopher-feminists: a free-flowing gathering of great literary minds and extraordinary thinkers that is like a global super symposium or mega university opening its gates for anyone who wants to attend for five whole days.”
This year the festival is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Series.
Namita Gokhale, writer, founder & co-director of the JLF, said: “Book lovers from around the world will congregate in the Pink City as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 9 Series Jaipur Literature Festival unleashes the magic of books and ideas, music and poetry, dialogue and debate.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, managing director, Teamwork Arts and producer of JLF, said: “Looking ahead to 2024, our vision involves a comprehensive exploration and analysis of the evolving narratives from across the world.
“We aim to navigate varied viewpoints by drawing inspiration from India’s illustrious literary heritage, along with leading voices from global literary scene.”
The festival will open with its customary morning music with Kalapini Komkali marking the centenary year of Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Kumar Gandhary.
Gokhale, Dalrymple, and Roy will present inaugural addresses and Divya Kumari, the deputy chief minister of Rajasthan (the hosting state) will all also mark the opening.
There were also preview launches of JLF in Mumbai (December 2023) and in Delhi (January).
Some key sessions, festival organisers say, will be live-streamed on the festival’s own microsite.
JLF Author list – https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/speakers
All pictures from Jaipur Literature Festival (except Kal Penn)
Trio of three in collage lead pic far left : Sanjoy K Roy, Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple