ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 Set to Begin Marathon of Ideas
JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2020
Hailed as one of grandest literary worldwide, the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2020, opens today at its iconic abode, the Diggi Palace Hotel, to continue its tradition of providing access to a gamut of ‘stories’ - fearless, funny, tender, fantastical, true-to-life, fiery, equivocal, atypical and everyday - to all.
The magnitude of programming remains as astonishing as every year with over 500 speakers and performers representing around 15 Indian and 35 international languages and over 30 nationalities as well as major literary awards ranging from the Nobel, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, the Sahitya Akademi, DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, Commonwealth Book Prize.
The 13th edition of the Festival begins on Thursday January 23rd with the inaugural keynote address by renowned author Marcus du Sautoy and aclaimed Hindustani vocalist Shubha Mudgal on ‘The Art, Sciences and Creativity’. On the list are some of the world’s best thinkers and writers: Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Man-Booker-winner Howard Jacobson, author of over sixteen novels including his most recent, Live a Little, that has been described by The Guardian as ‘wonderful’ and by The Sunday Times as ‘joyous’; Forrest Gander, eminent translator and author of the Pulitzer-winning collection of poems, Be With; Paul Muldoon, author of Moy Sand and Gravel, for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize; Pulitzer winner Stephen Greenblatt, author of 14 books including Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Ravish Kumar, India’s well-known and intrepid TV anchor, journalist and writer; Ruchira Gupta, Emmy-winning journalist and activist.
The 2020 line-up continues to entice minds thirsty for knowledge with a long list of Sahitya Akademi winners which includes Hindi poet and critic Ashok Vajpeyi, author of 30 books of poetry and criticism published in Hindi; versatile writer Chitra Mudgal, author of Avaan which has received worldwide acclaim and portrays the era of the Trade Union Movement during the time of Datta Samant; poet and novelist Keki N. Daruwalla, author of 12 poetry volumes, the first of which, Under Orion, was published to considerable acclaim, six story collections and three novels; poet, cultural theorist and curator Ranjit Hoskote, author of Vanishing Act, Central Time and Jonahwhale.
In a session focused on fiction, five of the world’s celebrated novelists— Elizabeth Gilbert, Leila Slimani, Avni Doshi, John Lancaster and Howard Jacobson -- share their insights on the art of the novel with Damian Barr. The session will give answers to all the questions like where does fiction come from? What is the process of its creation? How does one make up characters and situations that are believable - and why should the reader care?
The Festival will also include various sessions with a focus on climate change. One of the sessions will feature eminent writers and environmentalists in conversation with journalist Jeffrey Gettleman, as they discuss our responsibility towards the Earth and what it means to act for the planet. The panel will be graced by celebrated authors Martin Goodman; politician, economist and environmentalist Jairam Ramesh, and journalist David Wallace-Wells.
India’s rich, diverse and colourful literary heritage remains at the core of the 13th Jaipur Literature Festival as it brings together writers from across India representing a multitude of the country’s languages. This year, the Festival hosts speakers from the vast canvas of Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Nagamese, Oriya, Prakrit, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Santhali, Tamil and Urdu writing. The programme explores the magnificent legacy of these languages while examining contemporary trends in writing. Rajasthani language finds voice in its distinctive syntax and variety of dialects –- the iconic Rajasthani poet Chandra Prakash Deval, a pioneer poet of Rajasthani literature Raju Ram Bijarnian, eminent authors Ritupriya and Madhu Acharya will speak of the rich heritage and linguistic traditions of the state in a session titled “Rajasthani Binya Kyaro Rajasthan”. In a conversation with distinguished author Vishes Kothari, the panel will talk about the unique genius of Rajasthani literature in its many manifestations.
A session on a series of multi-vocal poetry readings titled, “Poetry Durbar”, will be graced by eminent authors and poets Makarand R. Paranjape, Chris Agee, Afra Atiq, Madhav Kaushik, Sholeh Wolpe and Keki Daruwalla.
During the Festival, Namita Gokhale, author and Festival Co-director, will launch her new novel, Jaipur Journals. Set against the backdrop of the vibrant Jaipur Literature Festival, it is partly a love letter to the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, partly an ode to the millions of aspiring authors who wander the earth with unsubmitted manuscripts in their bags and, in the end, a tribute to that loneliest tribe of them all: the writers. Namita Gokhale is the author of 18 books, including 9 works of fiction. In conversation with diplomat and author Shashi Tharoor and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, she will discuss the themes of her new novel and how her two personas – writer and Festival director - come together in it.
In a special session titled ‘The Anarchy’, historian, author and Festival Co-director William Dalrymple will unfold his riveting tale of the first global corporate power, the East Indian Company and its ruthless, methodical plunder of India. Introduced by eminent author Manu S. Pillai, the session will tell the remarkable story of how one of the world's most magnificent empires disintegrated and came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company, based thousands of miles overseas in one small office, five windows wide, and answerable only to its distant shareholders.
Writer and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said, "I can't wait for the opening of the Festival. Months of planning will be put into action as our extraordinary line up of speakers begin to weave their magic. It's our strongest programming ever and I can’t wait to see it come to life."
In another session celebrated actor Madhur Jaffrey, iconic ambassador of Indian cuisine, speaks of her rich and intensely -lived life tracing her early years in Delhi, her association with the legendary Ismail Merchant, James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, her encounters with theatre and film, and finally her recent rap video. She will speak of her intertwined lives, of the theatre of food and the flavour of memories. This promises to be a fascinating session with the 86-year-old actor author in conversation with novelist and essayist, Chandrahas Choudhury.
Additionally, the first-ever British chef to have featured on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated Chef’s Table, Asma Khan, will enlighten audiences about her journey with food through her unique lineage associated with both Rajput and Bengali aristocracies. Even though Asma’s journey with food began in order to overcome feelings of homesickness, it finally culminated in a restaurant in London employing a bunch of home-cooks with none of them having any prior experience in the culinary arts. She believes food to be an important ingredient of collective memory and a powerful tool to bring down barriers.
The Festival presents not just stimulating conversations on literature and the written and spoken word, but also includes performance as well as visual arts giving it a vivid cultural backdrop. While the hub of the Festival continues to be the Diggi Palace Hotel, it now has extensions across multiple locations in and around the city including the Amber Fort and Clarkes Amer Hotel among others. The Festival also features the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award and Ojas Art Awards.
Jaipur BookMark, the B2B arm of the Festival, returns for its 7th edition and has become a one-stop-shop for publishers, translators, literary agents, booksellers and writers to meet, discuss ideas, and ‘talk business’. Jaipur BookMark features sessions on the challenges of publishers, the fate of bookstores, skilling for the publishing industry, translations and rights, market trends, art and design work in publishing, distribution models and many engaging discussions. It also hosts iWrite, a platform for aspiring writers to share their work with industry experts and get a chance to become published authors.
Starting Thursday, the city will be overtaken by a deluge of cultural and heritage events spilling beyond the four walls of Diggi Palace to multiple venues across the city, including the electrifying Jaipur Music Stage at Hotel Clarks Amer featuring a variety of artistes from the international spectrum and a multi-genre abundance in style, sound, and history. Be it world music, ghazals, funk, rock or the Blues, the Jaipur Music Stage 2020 is a music festival like no other embodying variety, excellence and collaboration. The power-packed lineup of performers include Gavin James, Ricky Kej, Lisa Marie Simmons, Aabha Hanjura, Parvaaz, amongst others, who are set to perform at the 2020 edition of Jaipur Music Stage.
Art plays a critical role at the Festival: there will be a live public art demonstration by Bhajju Shyam (Gond art) and Mayur & Tushar Vayeda (Warli art), who will create live mural-sized artworks at the Festival. The artworks created will reflect on environment, climate change and mythology. There will also be a display of art works by Bijoy Kumar Parida, the Master Artist for the Ojas Art Award 2020.
The Festival is made possible with the support of partners who are committed to promoting this platform and believe in the value it brings to its audiences and literature lovers from across the world.
ZEE Entertainment continues to be title sponsors of the Festival, while NEXA has come on board as associate partner with its vision to ‘Inspire. Create’ at this celebration of words and ideas. NEXA also partners the Front Lawn. Bank of Baroda also returns this year as partners for Baithak and Motwani Jadeja Foundation partners with Durbar Hall.
Series Partners include Aga Khan Foundation; The North India Office, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi and Mahindra World City Jaipur.
Session partners include British Council, Netflix, Etsy, Mahindra World City Jaipur, Public Health Engineering Department, United Nations India, Avid Learning, Murty Classical Library of India of Harvard University Press, Australian High Commission and Australia Council for the Arts, Paras Buildtech, Sahitya Akademi, Centre for Policy Research.
Rajasthan Tourism partners as Tourism Partner, The JCB Prize for Literature partners as Official Bookstore Partner, Reckitt Benckiser partners as Official Cause Partner, Diageo partners as Celebration Partner, Kingfisher partners as Good Times Partner, Launchora partners as Podcast Partner, Facebook partners as Community Partner, BeLive partners as Webcast Partner, UFO Movies partners as Cinemania Partner, AirAsia partners as Travel Partner, Save the Children partners as Book Launch Partner.
Media partners include Dainik Bhaskar, Rajasthan Patrika, Amar Ujala- Business Standard, INOX, Mathrubhumi, Outlook Magazine, The New Indian Express, The Tribune. RED FM partners as Official Radio Partner. The outreach partners include Yuva Ekta Foundation and Pratham Books.
The other partners include Jan Michalski, Zomato, Penguin Random House, Jayshree Periwal International School, Citibank, Storytel, C.K. Birla Hospital, LIC, Sotheby's, SBI, John L. Bissell Foundation, JW Marriot, Airtel, Karma Kettle, Grover Zampa, Coca-Cola, Gulmohar Lane, Hotel Diggi Palace, Taj Rambagh Palace, Clarks Amer, Royal Opera House, Mumbai , The Lalit, Full Circle, Royal Treasure, Eventbot, Edelman, Social Kinnect, McCain, Unibic, Waghbakri Tea, Mastkin, Kanha Sweets, BeLive.