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The largest free literary festival on earth, Jaipur Literature Festival releases seventh list of speakers

Jaipur Literature Festival
Over the past decade, JLF has hosted more than 1300 speakers and welcomed more than 1.2 million booklovers

Books and Authors

The largest free literary festival on earth, Jaipur Literature Festival releases seventh list of speakers

Known as the greatest literary show on earth, the Jaipur Literature Festival will be celebrating its 10th Year anniversary in 2017. Having hosted 1300 speakers over the decade, it is expected to welcome over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists, and popular culture icons. The festival will take place between 1 and 23 January at its beautiful home at the historic Diggi Palace in Jaipur.

To celebrate its 10th year anniversary, the festival is releasing the names of its speakers 10 at a time every week. The seventh list was announced recently, here it is:

Celebrated poet, filmmaker, lyricist and writer, Gulzar was born in Jhelum – now Pakistan. He grew up in Delhi and later moved to Mumbai for a career in films. His works in poems, short stories, scripts, ballets, music albums and books for children have been translated into many languages and has won both, national and international acclaim. He is a seven-time recipient of the prestigious National Award as well as 21 Filmfare Awards, the 2002 SahityaAkademi Award for Best Urdu Writer, the Padma Bhushan in 2004, the 2009 Academy Award for Best Original Song (‘Jai Ho’ in Slumdog Millionaire), the 2012 Indira Gandhi National Integration Award, the 2013 Dada SahebPhalke Award as well as a degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from the University of Kolkata in 2015.

Eminent Rajasthani writer, CP Deval, has written numerous poems and short stories. He has also translated several classics such as Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. He has been honoured with the SahityaAkademi Award for his Rajasthani poetry collection, PAGI and the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2011.

Telugu poet and writer, Volga (Popuri Lalita Kumari) is known for her feminist perspective and her portrayal of progressive women in novels, poetry, short stories, plays and articles. Her first novel was published in 1986 and sparked debates and controversies in the media. The novel spoke of how marriage can be binding for women and was titled Sahaja. For her short story compilation, titled VimuktaKadhaSamputi which is in Telugu, she received the prestigious SahityaAkademi Award in 2015. Her most reason work is ‘The Liberation of Sita’ and has been translated into English.

Musician, poet, novelist and playwright Kate Tempest has recently been nominated for a Costa Poetry Award for her long-form poem Let Them Eat Chaos. Her work includes Wasted, Glasshouse and Hopelessly Devoted; the poetry collections Everything Speaks in its Own Way and Hold Your Own; the albums Everybody Down, Balance and Let Them Eat Chaos; and her debut novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses. She was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for her debut album, Everybody Down, and received the Ted Hughes Award and a Herald Angel Award for Brand New Ancients. Kate was also named a Next Generation Poet in 2014.

Making her first appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival is Audrey Truschkeis. She is an Assistant Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University-Newark. Her first book, which was published in 2016 is titled Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court. Her next is called Aurangzeb: The Man and The Myth. 

Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb is a historian, author, broadcaster and award-winning academic. Her research focuses on sixteenth century English and French history. She works on Henry VIII and the early Tudor court, and is especially interested in the intersection of religious, gender, political, social, and psychological history. This interest led to her books 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII, Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance and A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England and her latest book, The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII. She is currently writing on religion, gender, and sexuality in sixteenth-century France.

Having written a book on the history of perfume and smell in South Asia, titled Sandalwood and Carrion, James McHugh is now writing a book on alcohol and drinking in Indian history. He teaches at the University of Southern California, where he is a scholar of Sanskrit.

Jon Wilson has taught Indian history at King’s College London since 1999 and is the author of India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire. Currently, he is working on a global history of democratic government during the last 50 years. The main theme of his work is the messiness of real politics compared to the myths that political leaders projects.

After appearing as part of JLF at Boulder, Colorado, Vera Hildebrand will be attending ZEE JLF 2017. She received her MA in Germanic languages and literature from Harvard University and her doctorate in liberal studies from Georgetown University before teaching Scandinavian folklore and mythology at Harvard and the University of Copenhagen. She has travelled extensively in India, Malaysia, and Singapore to locate and interview women who served during World War II with Subhas Chandra Bose in the Indian National Army in Burma, in alliance with the Japanese as part of the failed attempt to liberate India. Her book Women at War: Subhas Chandra Bose and the Rani of Jhansi Regiment will be published in December 2016.

Mark Tully is a broadcaster, journalist and author who resides in Delhi. He writes and presents the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Something Understood’. His books include No Full Stops in India, Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi’s Last Battle, India in Slow Motion, India’s Unending Journey, Non-Stop India and Heart of India, a collection of short stories. His second book of short stories is to be published soon.

We caught up with the festival’s founder and producer, William Dalrymple and Sanjoy K. Roy, respectively for an exclusive chat. Check out what they had to say about bringing a gem of an idea to the largest of its kind here:


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