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ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival announces first list of 60 speakers for 2018 edition

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 28, Nov 2017, 16:28 pm IST | UPDATED: 30, Nov 2017, 17:54 pm IST

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival announces first list of 60 speakers for 2018 edition New Delhi: The annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival announced today that its 11th edition will take place from 25-29 January 2018, once again at its beautiful home of the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.

The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival which has often been described as the ‘greatest literary show on earth’ and the ‘Kumbh Mela of literature’ has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million booklovers over the past decade, evolving into a global literary phenomenon. A true champion of literary and artistic traditions and democratic discourse, it encourages freedom of thought through a range of voices from India and abroad engaged in informed and enlightened dialogue and promotes above all a love for literature.

This year, the Festival will welcome over 250 writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from over 35 different nationalities. It will feature a spectacular line-up of speakers representing the major awards including the Nobel, Man Booker, Pulitzer, Padma Vibhusan and the Sahitya Akademi Award. The first list of 60 speakers released today include Akhil Sharma, award-winning writer and creative writing professor; Amy Tan, author of the widely adapted book The Joy Luck Club; award-winning Indian film director and producer Anurag Kashyap, Indian art critic, art historian, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, BN Goswamy; former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai; English novelist and author of the iconic Bridget Jones Diary, Helen Fielding; Man Booker winner and author of The English Patient Michael Ondaatje; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter from The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team Michael Rezendes; Sahitya Akademi Award winner Mridula Garg; 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Mohammad Yunus, essayist and novelist Pico Iyer, best known for travel writing; New York Times bestselling poet and illustrator Rupi Kaur; Indian classical dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Sonal Mansingh; Indian philanthropist and writer Sudha Murty; Academy and Tony Award winning Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard; and Grammy Award winning tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, among others.

The discussions at the Festival will feature around works spanning both Indian and the international literary landscapes; translations will be under the spotlight too in a bid to reinforce a diverse and flavourful cultural matrix. The 2018 edition expects to welcome speakers representing over 15 Indian and more than 20 international languages.



As in previous years, the forthcoming edition of the Festival will partner with major Indian and global brands and host the highest calibre of speakers and curate an enviable depth in programming for its ever increasing and discerning audiences.

The Festival will open as usual with its B2B arm, Jaipur BookMark (JBM), now in its fifth edition, with a full day of programming on 24 January at Diggi Palace followed by sessions at a dedicated JBM venue at the Festival Hub from the 25-28 January. JBM continues to provide a platform for publishers, literary agents, translation agencies and writers to meet, talk business deals and listen to major industry players from across the world.

The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival sets literary conversations, debates and dialogue against the backdrop of built and cultural heritage including curated art installations, world music performances at the Music Stage and cultural evenings at heritage venues like the Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal.

While entry to the Festival is free and open to all, attendees can choose to purchase “Festival Delegate Packages” which offer a special experience of the Festival and will take them on a compelling cultural journey.


As a former Festival Delegate said, “A wonderful experience. As a delegate, I had the opportunity to meet people from all parts of the world and share our love of literature and writing. The concerts were amazing - the venue, music, food and people combined to create an unforgettable experience.”

In addition to enjoying the Festival programme, delegates get access to the Delegate Lounge, dedicated sessions, free entry to the Music Stage, invites to the special cultural evenings, official Festival merchandise, lunches and dinners with authors and fellow delegates, a cocktail evening and much more.

Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, says, “This is a vintage year for the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, with an amazing line up of international and Indian writers and multiple strands of thoughtfully curated sessions. A space to interrogate our changing times and to encounter poetry and the dreaming mind, the Festival returns with its unique brand of magic, whimsy and intellectual rigour.”

William Dalrymple, writer, historian and Co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, says, “2018 may be the best Jaipur ever, fielding an unrivalled literary ‘First Eleven’ made up of star poets and acclaimed novelists, historians and biographers, thinkers and dreamers and scribblers and critics, genii and half the faculty of Harvard. It’s an astonishing line up and I can't wait for the 25th of January to see it all become a reality.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts who produce the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “As we wait to celebrate yet another milestone year of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in 2018, we look forward to the infectious energy of intellectual debate and the dynamism that charges the Festival's atmosphere and comes from a mingling of celebrated minds, diverse perspectives, and heightened cultural experiences. What is heartening is that this incredible global phenomenon that the Festival has evolved into is still deeply rooted in its core identity as a completely accessible and democratic platform.”



Festival Dates – The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 is scheduled to take place from 25 –29 January, 2018 at the Diggi Palace Hotel, Jaipur Rajasthan.
  •     First list of Speakers Announced - The Festival has announced its first list of 60 speakers out of over 250 speakers expected to attend the 2018 edition. The first list of 60 speakers released today include Akhil Sharma, Amy Tan, Anurag Kashyap, BN Goswamy, Hamid Karzai, Helen Fielding, Michael Ondaatje, Michael Rezendes, Mridula Garg, Muhammad Yunus, Pico Iyer, Rupi Kaur, Sonal Mansingh, Sudha Murty, Tom Stoppard and Zakir Hussain, among others.
  •     Registration and Delegate Packages – Free online registration to attend the Festival is now open. The Festival also offers “Delegate Packages” for those who wish to support the Festival and experience its magic as they mingle with authors, interact with industry players, relax in the Delegate Lounge and enjoy the Music Stage and special cultural evenings as part of the package.
  •     Festival Curtain Raisers – Curtain Raiser events in Mumbai and Delhi will be held in December, bringing the magic of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival to audiences at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai on Thursday, 7 December and at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road in New Delhi on Tuesday, 12 December.
  •     Volunteer Programme – At the end of November, the Festival will announce the shortlisted candidates who will form the 300 strong ‘army’ of dedicated volunteers supporting the Festival’s 30 departments and ensure a seamless running of the Festival. Over 2500 individuals applied to volunteer at the 2018 edition of the Festival. Requests to volunteer at the Festival have not only come from enthusiasts all over Rajasthan but also from more than 15 cities across India as well as from Adelaide, Edinburgh Glasgow, London and Melbourne, among others, internationally.
  •     Festival Blogging Contest – The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Blogging Contest returns to enlist literature enthusiasts to be part of the Official Blogging Team and will feature contests for blog-writing, video-blogging and photo-blogging.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 – Speaker List

1.    Abeer Y. Hoque

2.    Abhinav Chandrachud

3.    Adriana Lisboa

4.    Akhil Katyal

5.    Akhil Sharma

6.    Amin Jaffer

7.    Amitava Kumar

8.    Amy Tan

9.    Angela Saini

10.  Anurag Kashyap

11.  Atmaprajnananda Saraswati

12.  Benjamin Dix

13.  B. N. Goswamy

14.  Bulaki Sharma

15.  Carin Gerhardsen

16.  Dipankar Gupta

17.  Era Tak

18.  Esther David

19.  Eurig Salisbury

20.  Hamid Karzai

21.  Helen Fielding

22.  Ilse Köhler-Rollefson

23.  Jeffrey Gettleman

24.  Josefine Klougart

25.  Joshua Ferris

26.  Jovan Mays

27.  Kaya Genç

28.  Leïla Slimani

29.  Manoranjan Byapari

30.  Marina Warner

31.  Markiyan Kamysh

32.  Michael Franklin

33.  Michael Ondaatje

34.  Michael Rezendes

35.  Michael Vatikiotis

36.  Minna Lindgren

37.  Mridula Garg

38.  Muhammad Yunus

39.  Nadifa Mohamed

40.  Namita Waikar

41.  Nicolas Idier

42.  Pankaj Dubey

43.  Pankaj Sekhsaria

44.  Peter Bos

45.  Pico Iyer

46.  Poonam Surie

47.  Prajwal Parajuly

48.  Rita Kothari

49.  Rupi Kaur

50.  Sagarika Ghose

51.  Satish Gupta

52.  Sethu

53.  Sheela Reddy

54.  Sonal Mansingh

55.  Sudha Murty

56.  Sujatha Gidla

57.  Tom Stoppard

58.  Victor Sebestyen

59.  Yatindra Mishra

60.  Zakir Hussain
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