Jaipur, 2017 marks ten years of the Jaipur Literature Festival and its meteoric rise from a small gem of an idea to the world’s largest free literary festival, having hosted more than 1300 speakers over the past decade.
Frequently described as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 will take place between 19 and 23 January 2017 in its beautiful home at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.
The Festival expects to welcome over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists, and popular culture icons to Jaipur this coming January. Equity and democracy run through the Festival’s veins, placing some of the world’s greatest wordsmiths and intellects from all walks of life together on stage.
Today, the eighth set of 10 speakers appearing at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 were announced as:
1. Javed Akhtaris an eminent Indian film scriptwriter, lyricist and poet, whose lineage can be traced back to seven generations of renowned Urdu writers, poets and freedom fighters. A respected social commentator and activist admired for his secular, liberal and progressive values, Akhtar has written numerous poems against communalism, social injustice, national integration and for women’s rights. He has received five national awards from the Indian government as well as 15 Filmfare Awards, considered India’s answer to the Academy Award. Akhtar has also been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India (2010) and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India. His publications include his first poetry collection Tarskash, which has been translated into English, French and a range of Indian regional languages. According to a recent survey done by a publisher’s organisation, it is the most sold book of verses in the last 60 years in India. His other books, Talking Films and Talking Songs, are hailed as some of the most definitive works on Indian cinema.
2. AishwaryaDhanush’s memoir Standing On An Apple Box chronicles her childhood memories, the experiences of being the daughter of superstar Rajnikanth and being married to a person who is equally well-known in the industry. In August 2016, Dhanush was appointed as India's UN Women's advocate for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. In 2012, she won the Newsmaker of the Year Award at the JFA Women Achievers Awards. She has also received the Kalaimamani Award for Dance from the Government of Tamil Nadu. Her memoir chronicles her life’s highs and lows.
3. ManavKaul is an author, playwright, actor and director. His playshave been translated into several languages, including English, Marathi and Bengali, and include ShakarKePaanchDaane, Park, Ilhaamand most recently Chuhal, which opened at Mumbai’s Prithvi Festival. His collection of short stories TeekhTumharePeechaywas released earlier this year and was among the top five Hindi books of the year. His second short story collection PremKabootaris due to be published. Kaul is also a popular Hindi film actor who has won acclaim with his portrayals in films like Citylights, Kai Po Che, Wazir and Jai Gangaajal.
4. Patrick Frenchis a British biographer and historian who lives in New Delhi. He is the author of India, The World Is What It Is, an authorised biography of Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Tibet, Liberty or Death and Young-husband. He is currently working on the authorised biography of Doris Lessing.
5. Mei Fong is an award-winning writer whose book on China’s one-child policy debuted with ‘impeccable timing’ (Los Angeles Review of Books) and explores the unintended consequences of the policy through a narrative-rich story that is ‘evocatively rendered and peppered with quirky characters’ (Wall Street Journal), including a sex-doll salesman and a dating guru. Formerly a Wall Street Journal China correspondent, Fong is believed to be the first Malaysian to win a Pulitzer. She is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation.
6. AnuradhaBeniwal is a former National chess champion who was ranked number two in the country at the age of 7. Her debut book in Hindi, AazadiMera Brand, recounts her experiences of travelling to ten countries in Europe ona budget ofless thanRs 1 lakh. Born in Meham near Rohtak into a middle-class family, Beniwal was home-schooled and after being introduced to chess by her professor father at an early age, participated in many competitions to become world champion. Her writing advocates freedom of women who should be able to take the risk of travelling the world.
7. Frank Trentmannis Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of the prize-winning Free Trade Nation: Consumption, Civil Society and Commerce in Modern Britain. His new book, Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First Century, was published in 2016 and with several foreign translations set to appear in 2017.
8. Raghu Karnad is a journalist and the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. The book received the SahityaAkademiYuvaPuraskar and was shortlisted for the English PEN prize for historical non-fiction in 2016. He has written for Granta, the International New York Times, the Financial Times, n+1 and Caravan, and is an editor-at-large at theWire.in.
9. Richard Sennett writes about cities, labour and culture. He is the author of The Uses of Disorder, The Hidden Injuries of Class, The Fall of Public Man, Authority, The Conscience of the Eye and Flesh and Stone. In the mid 1990s, as the work-world of modern capitalism began to alter, Sennett began a project charting its personal consequences for workers. The first of these studies, The Corrosion of Character,is an ethnographic account of how middle-level employees make sense of the ‘new economy’. The second, Respect in a World of Inequality, charts the effects of new ways of working on the welfare state and the third, The Culture of the New Capitalism, provides an overview of change. Sennett has also written three novels titled The Frog Who Dared to Croak, An Evening of Brahms and Palais Royal. Most recently, Sennett has explored the positive aspects of labour in The Craftsman and Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. The third volume in this trilogy, The Open City, was published in 2016.
10. Franck Thilliezis a French writer and screenwriter. One of his short stories was recently used as the basis of a modern art exhibition for the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. In 2015, he was the third bestselling French thriller writer and is known for combining cutting-edge science with deep psychological analysis and extraordinary imagination. His book La Chambre des morts (The Room of the Dead) was made into a film. Syndrome E and Bred to Kill are the first two volumes of a five-part bestselling series, which also includes three standalones. The latest in the series Rêver (Dreaming), was published in May 2016 and was met with great success.
Further information on sessions and more speakers appearing at the 10th Jaipur Literature Festival will follow over the coming weeks.