The Jaipur Literature Festival, claimed to be the world’s largest free literary festival, today announced the first line-up of authors set to attend next year’s festival, which runs from 17th – 21st January 2014.
Featuring Pulitzer Prize winners, academics from the world’s leading universities, as well as authors shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize and DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; the seventh edition of the festival is set to bring some of the greatest thinkers and writers to the Pink City for five days of literary debates and discussions. As in past years, the annual Festival will also feature live music sessions and interactive workshops.
The illustrious group of authors announced today includes Nehru Fellow and tribal activist, Ganesh N. Devy; Gloria Steinem whose fight for the cause of women is legendary; the world’s leading military historian and winner of Britain’s two top non-fiction prizes (the Wolfson and Samuel Johnson) Antony Beevor; award winning novelist, critic and literary polymath Geoff Dyer; Hollywood actor Rupert Everett and travel writers Robyn Davidson and Cheryl Strayed. Other authors from India and around the world include: Jhumpa Lahiri, Samantha Shannon, Vaidehi, Amish Tripathi, Geetanjali Shree, Lily Wangchhuk, Jerry Pinto, Mahesh Dattani, Mary Kom, Narendra Kohli, and Sabrina Dhawan, screenwriter for Monsoon Wedding, with Irrfan Khan.
Renowned for engaging with a wide range of literary themes and genres, the 2014 Festival is no exception. Themes include a strand of readings and conversations on the survival of languages, which examines India’s linguistic diversity, and the challenges it faces. A series of sessions on ‘Crime and Punishment’ dissects the genre of the detective novel and also looks at Bollywood villains, vendetta and the shadow lines between the good guys and the bad. Another focal point will be ‘Women Uninterrupted’, with the Man Booker shortlisted and Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri and young literary sensation Samantha Shannon (widely tipped as the next JK Rowling!) as key authors. The Festival, in keeping with its inclusive nature, will also host personalities such as the National Film Award-winning actor, Irrfan Khan speaking with Sabrina Dhawan on screenwriting, plus the Olympic bronze medalist boxer, Mary Kom, who will be discussing her biography.
The 2014 Festival also boasts a particularly strong phalanx of major historians from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard including David Cannadine, father and son scholarly duo Partha and Rana Mitter, Maya Jasanoff and Mary Beard.
As in previous years, the 2014 Festival will be free with registration and will take place at Diggi Palace with increased capacity and space for visitors.
Festival Co-Director, Namita Gokhale said, “Come January, a cloud of creative energies gathers around Jaipur. Writers and thinkers from South Asia and around the world will once again debate and attempt to make sense of our changing worlds through the prism of literature. As readers from around the world get ready for their annual literary pilgrimage, the Jaipur yatra will continue to celebrate books and ideas, readers and writers in an open, joyous and spontaneous space, and to uphold the spirit of democratic dialogue and exchange.”
Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said, “In less than a decade Jaipur has become the largest free literature festival in the world, and the largest litfest in the Asia-Pacific region. It has done this by consistently bringing together at Jaipur the greatest literary minds on earth and presenting them to the public, rich and poor, young and old, desi and firangi, completely free of charge. But never have we fielded a line-up like this year, a gathering of the greatest artists in fiction and non-fiction the world has to offer, supported by swathes of Princeton, Harvard and Oxbridge faculty. It’s going to be an extraordinary few days.”
Speaking about the event, Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts which produces the Festival said, “We are thrilled to announce an incredible line-up of authors already in place for next year. The diversity of writers, through age, nationality, genre and interest is a testament to the open platform the Festival has become, welcoming all who share a passion for the written word. This year we have increased the space at the Festival site to comfortably accommodate the large number of visitors.”
In 2013 over 180,000 visitors to the Festival were recorded, securing the Jaipur Literature Festival as the world’s largest free literary festival. Registrations for the Festival’s 2014 edition have begun for delegates, members of the media, and the general public. Details on registration and accreditation are available online at jaipurliteraturefestival.org/registration/
On-the-spot registration will be available at the venue, however guests are encouraged to register online in advance to avoid long queues. Special rates at hotels associated with the Festival are available for those seeking accommodation.