Tuesday, 19 December 2017

This Is Why You Must Attend the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2018

L-R: Festival Co-Directors William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale with
Sanjoy K. Roy, MD of Teamwork Arts the producers of ZeeJLF.

While literary festivals are all the rage now, the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival was launched 11 years ago and is said to have inspired 125 other festivals! While ZeeJLF is becoming bigger and better with each passing year, the word ‘Jaipur’ in the title does not limit it to the Pink City - the festival is now hosted annually at international locations such as London and Boulder, Colorado.

Coming back to the forthcoming festival in Jaipur, it is scheduled from 25-29 January 2018 at Diggi Palace Hotel. The curtain raiser for the same was hosted at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi for the fourth consecutive year. The hotel chain has a long association with the festival since the inimitable Taj Rambagh Palace was the venue for some events right from the inaugural year and still hosts many delegates to come from all over the world to attend what is popularly known as the “Kumbh of Literature”.

This year, the Festival will host over 350 writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from over 35 nationalities, representing over 15 Indian and 20 international languages as well as major awards such as the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer Prize, the Padma Vibhusan and the Sahitya Akademi Award.

Festival Co-Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple alongwith Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, which produces the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, unveiled the list of speakers and shared the highlights of the festival. While Dalrymple stated that no other literature festival is entirely free Gokhale is proud of the fact that at this festival international writers come and listen to Indian writers. Over the years they carefully whet out the list of writers and speakers and this year we can expect myriad topics as author and filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir will take part in a candid conversation with musical maestro Zakir Hussain; Philip Norman, author of biographies on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elton John, will recollect anecdotes from the Beatles’ famed 1968 visit to India; Bollywood royalty Sharmila Tagore will speak to her daughter, Soha Ali Khan, who has authored a witty memoir titled The Perils of Being Moderately Famous; the sassy septuagenarian Shobhaa De, with her characteristic charisma and irreverence, will discuss turning 70, the subject of her latest book; and, columnist Vir Sanghvi will regale festival-goers with his refined palate on the unlimited potential of food.

Literature is an infectious form of magic, and shared stories and narratives reinforce our human bonds and understanding,” said Gokhale. Talking about the changing literary scene of the country, she added that over the years the translation scene has imporved drastically allowing increased participation of regional Indian authors.

Amongst the international authors visting this year, we are particularly excited about Michael Ondaatje of English Patient fame, Amy Tan who shared an immigrant experience in the bestselling Joy Luck Club, the Afghani writer Hamid Karzai who wrote Kite Runner, children’s favourite Julia Donaldson for creating Gruffalo, Pico Iyer who will talk of his travels and life lessons and Helen Fielding of chick-lit series Bridget Jones, besides many others.

The forthcoming edition of ZeeJLF thus promises to be a literary extravaganza where we will celebrate wonderful writing, meet authors, enjoy soul-stirring music and come away all the more richer!