Jaipur LitFest: Int'l authors to enthral readers

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 16:25 hrs

Jaipur, Jan 11 (IBNS) The sixth annual DSC Jaipur Literature Festival has been scheduled from Jan 24-28 at Diggi Palace in Jaipur. The international list of authors participating at the festival this year is the most cerebral, intellectually-stimulating and high-powered ever fielded, said organizers on Friday.

Festival will play host to subjects as diverse as the history of miniature painting and war reporting, Sharia Law and gay and lesbian literature, the Jewish novel, the 18th century sexual revolution, detective fiction and the literature of 9/11.

It will focus on new writing from Latin America and Iran; examine the economic prospects of India.

"We´ll look at the mixed legacy of the British Empire, the decline of America and the rise of China," said an official spokesperson of the festival.

In fiction this year, DSC Jaipur Literature Festival will host Commonwealth Prize winner Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leone, Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson, two Orange Prize winners Linda Grant and Madeline Miller, and Abraham Verghese- without doubt the best-selling writer of Indian origin in the US.

"We have two of the most respected novelists in the Arab world, Ahdaf Soueif and Tahar Ben Jalloun," the spokesperson said.

Festival welcome's back two of Pakistan's most celebrated wunderkinds, Nadeem Aslam and Mohammad Hanif and look forward to introducing Jamil Ahmad.

From Chile comes Ariel Dorfman, the playwright and celebrated author of Death and the Maiden.

"We introduce Indian audiences for the first time to our favourite historical novelist, Lawrence Norfolk, and three of Britain's most popular literary writers, Sebastian Faulks, Deborah Moggach and Zoe Heller, whose award-winning books have been adapted into the highly acclaimed movies Birdsong, The Exotic Marigold Hotel and Notes on a Scandal," said the spokesperson.

"We are also proud to present two of the greatest poets in Europe, Simon Armitage and John Burnside."

Sharing his enthusiasm Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said, "It's going to be an absolutely extraordinary five days and only wish it were possible to clone oneself so that one could attend five sessions simultaneously."

The non-fiction list is especially strong this year.

"We have no less than three winners of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, Frank Dikkoter on Mao, Wade Davis on Everest and Orlando Figes on Stalin's purges, while Pulitzer winner Andrew Solomon will speak on his remarkable new book, Far From the Tree.

"From Harvard we have Diana Eck, whose book India: A Sacred Geography has been one of the hits of the year, the philosopher Michael Sandel who brings his popular BBC Radio 4 series, "The Public Philosopher," to Jaipur and the leading cultural theorist, Homi Bhabha," the spokesperson said.

From Columbia comes the much-revered post-colonial and post-modern literary critic and thinker Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak. From Oxford comes acclaimed authority on Eastern Europe, Timothy Garton Ash and the Shakesperian Christopher Ricks.

DSC Jaipur Literature Festival present three of the world's most acclaimed artists in conversation: Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn and William Kentridge.

Nandan Nilekani will discuss Breakout Nations with Ruchir Sharma, author of this year´s bestselling book of non-fiction.

Some of the most admired essayists in the world will also be speaking: Elif Batuman of the New Yorker, Pico Iyer of Time Magazine and Tim Parks and Ian Buruma of the New York Review of Books.

"On a lighter note to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films we have a special session featuring Sebastian Faulks, who wrote the latest book in the franchise, Devil May Care, and Ian Fleming's biographer Andrew Lycett," said the spokesperson.

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