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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Jaipur Literature Festival To Go Virtual This Year

Set to take place between 19th to 28th February 2021, the Jaipur Literature Festival returns with a stellar online program, spread over 10 days, for its 14th edition

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Suman Bajpai
Suman Bajpai
Freelance writer, journalist, editor, translator and travel writer, Worked with different magazines as an editor. Writing for past 33 years

INDIA. Jaipur: Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’ has returned in a virtual avatar. The festival will be featuring a spectacular line-up of speakers from across the world, writers, poets, playwrights, thinkers, politicians, journalists. Cultural icons and recipients of major literary awards including the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, Commonwealth, European Union Prize, etc will also be a part of this event.

Talking about the festival, Sanjoy K. Roy, the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts and producer of JLF said, “A year after the world was felled by the pandemic, we have persevered and shown that human endurance can and will prevail, fuelled by knowledge and information, empathy and the right to justice. The Jaipur Literature Festival is representative of these ideals and will continue to be a platform to celebrate the joy of knowledge.”

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Famous global artists to participate in the event

Several artists from around the world will participate in the festival. Some highlights from the program include Glasgow-born author Douglas Stuart whose 2020 Booker Prize-winning debut novel ‘Shuggie Bain’ evokes the essence of addiction, parenthood, courage, and love.

In conversation with writer and playwright Paul McVeigh, Stuart will unravel the thought and process behind bringing this heartbreaking story out into the world.

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Celebrated American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist Noam Chomsky’s latest book, ‘Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power’, sharply questions the utopian idea of neoliberalism and the consequences of markets dictating all aspects of society.

Evaluating the ten principles that have fuelled this idea, he will unravel its roots and its troubling impact on American society, culture, and politics, in conversation with journalist Sreenivasan Jain.

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Photo Credit: Jaipur Literature Festival

Covering the ongoing pandemic, doctors and co-authors Randeep Guleria, Chandrakant Lahariya, and Gagandeep Kang will discuss their exciting new project in conversation with award-winning journalist Maya Mirchandani. The focus of the session will revolve around whether India will win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Festival, award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín will take the audience through the rhythm and roots of his writing process and his celebrated career. A master of expression and text, Tóibín possesses a unique ability to inhabit and blend through his words. He is the bestselling author of The Master, The Blackwater Lightship, The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster; his upcoming book is The Magician.

In conversation with Navtej Sarna, the former High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom will explore the meaning of the Punjabi Sikh identity as it survives through cultural transitions.

In a special session, director and writer Devashish Makhija’s latest book, ‘Oonga’ will be launched followed by a conversation exploring the book.

Read Also: Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 To Be Announced On Dec. 7

Acclaimed author and historian Vincent Brown’s groundbreaking geopolitical thriller ‘Tacky′s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War.’ At a session titled ‘Tacky′s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War’, in conversation with writer and academic Maya Jasanoff Brown will unpack the complex narratives binding the conflicting histories of Europe, Africa, and America, offering illuminating insights into the condition of terror and war, more relevant than ever in the era of BLM and socio-political change.

Journalist and writer George Packer’s will discuss about his new book, ‘Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century’ with journalist Basharat Peer.

Journalist and writer Meenakshi Ahamed’s latest book, ‘A Matter Of Trust,’ charts the complex relationship between India and the United States from the years following Indian Independence to today’s evolving politics. At a book launch session, Meenakshi Ahamed will discuss her latest book titled ‘A Matter Of Trust’ with former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, Shyam Saran, and former diplomat Frank G. Wisner

The Festival continues its rediscovery of the vast heritage of India’s languages. JFL will also remember the legendary Indian actress Devika Rani through award-winning author and playwright Kishwar Desai’s book ‘The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani’ which charts the life and career of the celebrated actress.

Speaking on the program of this year, author and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said, “It’s been a joyous challenge to work on the programming for Jaipur Literature Festival 2021. We look at our transformative times and try to understand the future through the lens of the present and the past. Our hybrid digital outreach has opened up a new universe of possibilities. I’m excited at having Italian astrophysicist and writer Carlo Rovelli in conversation with Professor Priyamvada Natarajan, on Nagarjuna, Sunyata, and Stardust. The winner of the 2020 Booker prize, Douglas Stuart, speaks of his award-winning debut novel. We rediscover Emperor Ashoka’s ancient edicts through music with T.M. Krishna.”

There is so much more to experience and reflect upon in this festival- from Gulabo Sapera and the dance of the serpents to the science, art, and philosophy of Indian food.


  • Suman Bajpai

    Freelance writer, journalist, editor, translator and travel writer, Worked with different magazines as an editor. Writing for past 33 years

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