Described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, the 2020 edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will take place from January 23-27 at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The festival authorities released the list of the first 25 speakers out of the 250 expected to attend the festival including Anand Neelakantan, author, columnist, and screenwriter, who has signed a three-book series deal with the producers of the blockbuster film ‘Baahubali’, Anosh Irani, the author of The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black, who was a finalist for the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Asma Khan, the first British chef to feature in Netflix’s Emmy-nominated Chef’s Table, Ben Judah, the author of Fragile Empire, the Financial Times Summer Book of 2013, Brian Aivars Catlos, author of four scholarly books, including most recently Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain.
The list continues with Chitra Mudgal, the first Indian woman to receive the Vyas Samman for her acclaimed novel Avaan; Frank Dikötter, author of a dozen books on modern China, including Mao’s Great Famine, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2011; Hallie Rubenhold, bestselling author whose latest book The Five, has been longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and shortlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger; Howard Jacobson, recipient of the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his book The Finkler Question; Jung Chang, author of the bestselling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday) and Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China; Keki N. Daruwalla, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award; Kent Nerburn, widely known for his insights into Native American culture, whose trilogy Neither Wolf nor Dog, The Wolf at Twilight and The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo are core works in multicultural curricula throughout the world; K.R. Meera, winner of the Kendra and Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards whose novel Aaraachaar has sold around 150,000 copies and its translation, Hangwoman, shortlisted for the DSC Prize.
They are joined by Kunal Basu, the author of The Japanese Wife; Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, selected by The Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books; Marcus du Sautoy, author of six books, including the recent The Creativity Code and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford; Mishi Saran, author of The Other Side of Light, who was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize; Nilanjana S. Roy, author of the award-winning fantasy novel The Wildings; and Om Swami, the brain behind the fastest-growing meditation and kindness movement in the world, Black Lotus.
There’s also journalist Raj Kamal Jha, internationally-acclaimed for his novels which have been translated into more than a dozen languages; Sara Rai, author of Im Labyrinth which won the Coburg Rückert Prize 2019 for its German translation by Johanna Hahn; Stephen Greenblatt, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize; Shubha Mudgal, veteran Hindustani vocalist, who has written a collection of short stories which revolve around the music that has nurtured her; Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and a 2005 Pulitzer finalist; Vishal Bhardwaj, acclaimed film director, writer, composer and producer, who published his first book of poems titled Nude in 2018.
William Dalrymple, writer, historian and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “This is unquestionably one of the best lists we’ve ever gathered: Five days of non-stop genius. Can’t wait to see everyone there!”
Writer, publisher and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Namita Gokhale said, “We have a stellar lineup of authors from India and around the world. Vision 2020 will be a new voyage of discovery to help us understand and reflect on the ever-changing world around us.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts that produces the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “At Jaipur Literature Festival in 2020, we look forward to strengthening our core values – to create a platform that celebrate ideas, reaches out to young people and allows them free access to knowledge and education.”IANS