Dazzling line-up of writers for Jaipur Literature Festival

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The first list of dignitaries who are slated to attend the ninth edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival promises to wow the audience. Some of the legends to attend are poet, novelist and literary critic Margaret Atwood and lord of the lens’ Steve McCurry.

The five day extravaganza, to be held at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur from January 21, will have 165 top notch Indian and international authors to set the intellect ticking.

Those participating also include India’s own prolific writer Ruskin Bond, controversial Harvard historian Niall Ferguson and English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist Stephen Fry, who is considered Britain’s national treasure.

French economist and global voice on wealth and income inequality Thomas Piketty, Bosnian American fiction writer Aleksandar Hemon and Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman are some of the other star attractions.

Some of the Indian authors who are set to take centre stage are author-turned- psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar, Hindi poet and author Uday Prakash, Sahitya Akademi awardees Rita Chowdhury and Dhrubajyoti Bora as well as prominent Gujarati poet and scholar Sitanshu Yashaschandra.

The festival will explore issues such as migration, privacy and navigating change, according to Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

“The JLF is propelled by ideas and the excitement of real time conversations. We bring together the finest minds from across the world and explore our changing times through sessions on economics, politics and the sciences. Yet we remain rooted in local culture and language, and our literary perspective is always from the grassroots upwards,” said Gokhale.

The organisers said that Homi Bhabha from the Mahindra Humanities Centre will curate a session around the theme of privacy.

Those set to participate in the discussion are British author and columnist Ben Macintyre, American reporter Dexter Filkins, English foreign correspondent Christina Lamb and CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen.

Some of the other Indian writers who will participate include Mridula Sinha, Alka Saraogi, Ashok Vajpeyi, Yatindra Mishra, Prabhat Ranjan, Harish Trivedi and Mridul Kirti, Anita Agnihotri in Bangla, Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Ila Arab Mehta and Madhav Hada.

“Each year at Jaipur, we try to produce a programme more remarkable than the year before, but this year has to be our most astonishing line up ever. It’s going to be an incredible few days and I can’t wait for January so that we can get started”, said William Dalrymple, writer and co-director of the JLF.

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