Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 unveils full programme at Delhi Preview

India’s relations with China has seen numerous highs and lows.From the war of 1962 to the peace maintained by negotiations in the 90s leading up to recent turmoil and unsettlement.

Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 unveils full programme at Delhi Preview
Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 unveils full programme at Delhi Preview

Jaipur: The annual iconic Jaipur Literature Festival is all set to run from 19th-23rd January in the pink city of Jaipur at Hotel Clarks Amer. Marking its sixteenth year, the Festival will showcase a power-house of writers, speakers, thinkers and humanitarians from all walks of life. The literary extravaganza will see a spectacular range of language diversity in the programme, displaying 20 Indian and 14 International languages.

For its 2023 edition, the Festival will host over 250 speakers from across a vast array of nationalities, as well as recipients of major awards such as the Nobel, the Booker, International Booker, the Pulitzer, the SahityaAkademi, Baillie Gifford, PEN America Literary Awards, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, the JCB Prize for Literature and many more. It will feature a range of themes including the ongoing climate justice debate under the urgency of borrowed time theme; the great women writers and artists focusing on the female voice and identity, crime fiction, memoir, translation, poetry, economics, tech morality and Artificial Intelligence, the global crisis in agriculture, Russia-Ukraine conflict, violence of the British Empire, cutting-edge science, India at 75, remembering partition, geopolitics, art and photography, health and medicine, amongst others.

Announced today, the list has some of the world’s greatest minds including Nobel awardee and celebrated writer AbdulrazakGurnah in conversation with British publishing legend Alexandra Pringle for a panel discussion titled ‘The Essential AbdulrazakGurnah’. Gurnah’s striking and formidable works include Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise, By the Sea, Desertion, and his most recent, Afterlives, which examines the German colonial force in East Africa and the lives of Tanganyikans - as they, work, grieve, and love - in the darkening shadow of war.
In a tale celebrating the pluralist past of the Middle East, private diplomat, journalist and author Michael Vatikiotis traces the history of his family caught between a clash of faith and identity. Lives Between Lines recounts life under the Ottoman Empire where communities from different creeds and origins thrived. Lasting almost a century, the Ottoman oasis was disrupted by the European colonial order that caused violent conflict between the Arabs and the Jews of the region. For his session, Vatikiotis will be in conversation with historian and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, where the two will take the audience through the history of his forebears as an ode to the once-tolerant and harmonious Middle East.

Booker Prize winner BernardineEvaristo’s memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, is an inspirational account of her life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream and fought over several decades to bring her creative work into the world. At the Festival, Evaristo will be in conversation with journalist and writer, Nandini Nair where she will present her reimagined memoir and an essential manual for creativity, activism, and reinvention. While moderating another session at the Festival, Nair will be in conversation with the Booker Prize winning author ShehanKarunatilaka for a panel discussion on ‘Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’ where Karunatilaka will delve into his latest tale of pathos, humour and satire, and the grave dangers of collective amnesia. At another session, the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize 2022, Katherine Rundell will be in conversation with academic and writer Nandini Das, where Rundell will speak of her sparkling biography of John Donne: the poet of love, sex, and death.

The list continues with the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Caroline Elkins for a panel discussion where Elkins will take the audience through her illuminating and authoritative book Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. During the session, Elkins will explode long-held myths and shed disturbing new light on the empire's role in shaping the world today. The Festival will also feature acclaimed art historian Katy Hessel for a panel discussion with Xavier Bray on a session named ‘The Story of Art without Men’, where Hessel will discuss the historical documentation of art and her attempts at dismantling patriarchy within the art world.

BibekDebroy is an eminent scholar and translator who had made a number of previously difficult-to-access Sanskrit texts available to readers in English. Apart from his erudite and vast body of work, he is also an economist of repute and the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. During his session, Debroy will be in conversation with SahityaAkademi awardee and Festival Co-Director NamitaGokhale, talking about the intricate layers of wisdom and learning contained in the Puranas, with special reference to his latest rendering of the Brahma Puranas in English translation.

Agriculture in India is undergoing a structural change leading to a crisis.  It is argued that the consequence of this crisis is vast and likely to hit all other sectors and the national economy in several ways. During one of the key sessions at the Festival, three experts of agrarian studies, scholar and writer Maryam Aslany and academic Surinder S. Jodhka will bein conversation with Mukulika Banerjee, delving deeper into the causes and consequences of the situation and the complex and acute tragedy of farmer suicides.

India’s relations with China has seen numerous highs and lows.From the war of 1962 to the peace maintained by negotiations in the 90s leading up to recent turmoil and unsettlement. At a session, journalist and author Manoj Joshi, in Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in the High Himalayas, will trace the brutal circumstances of the LAC and the impact of its “fuzziness”. During the session, Joshi will be in conversation with former Foreign

Secretary Vijay Gokhale and former Ambassador to China, Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal & former Foriegn Secretary Shyam Saran discussing the rising tensions at the unresolved LAC, and what that means for the region, along with journalist and foreign policy expert SuhasiniHaidar.

Writer and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra's debut book, Remnants of a Separation, is a human history of the monumental event of the Partition of India, told by unearthing the stories lying latent in ordinary objects that the survivors had carried with them across the newly made border. Her recent, In the Language of Remembering, brings together conversations recorded over many years with generations of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and their respective diaspora. At a session, Malhotra will be in conversation with the author of Partition Voices, KavitaPuri, where she reveals how the Partition is not yet an event of the past and its legacy is threaded into the daily lives of subsequent generations.  

The digital world is to be mastered, not abandoned. Technology-friendly writers NandanNilekaniand TanujBhojwaniinduct readers into the secret of using electronic devices for their benefit without losing either mental peace or physical fitness. The duo will be in conversation with Publisher, Penguin Random House, MeruGokhale where they discuss the information flow of what inundates our screens, and if that can be controlled in a way that it becomes key to success in a mindful/‘bitful’ sort of way. At another session, Gokhale will be in conversation with philanthropist and writer SudhaMurtyfor an insightful discussion where Murty will present a pragmatic worldview that is nevertheless based on compassion and empathy. At yet another session, Gokhale will be in conversation with oncologist, biologist and celebrated Pulitzer prize-winning author, Siddhartha Mukherjee for his most recent book, ‘The Song of the Cell’. Together Gokhale and Mukherjee will present a panoramic saga that combines "memoir, history and science" as it attempts to answer the questions of what it means to be alive.

This year, the Festival will celebrate the diversity of language and literature like never before by conducting a panel discussion featuring International Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree in conversation with translator Daisy Rockwell and SahityaAkademiYuvaPuraskar recipient Tanuj Solanki for a session on Ret Samadhi: Tomb of Sand. At the session, the trio will discuss the nuances of language, translation, prizes and fame. The literary extravaganza will also showcase a session on the late LataMangeshkar’s long journey as a vocal artiste, featuring celebrated poet, music and cinema scholar, Yatindra Mishra in conversation with translator and writer Anu Singh Choudhary. Mishra will take the audience on a musical ride creating a fascinating portrait of a legend with a singular passion for excellence in music, based on his book, originally published in Hindi, as Lata: Sur Gatha, and translated into English by Ira Pande.  

The Festival will also showcase some of the greatest novelists, including Marlon James and Ruth Ozeki and some of the greatest non-fiction writers, including Anna Keay, Jonathan Freedland, Rebecca Wragg Sykes, David Wengrow, David Raubenheimer, Luke Harding, Alex Renton, Antony

Beevor, Orlando Figes, Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Mikhail Zygar, SathnamSanghera, Merlin Sheldrake, Tansen Sen, Vincent Brown, Kris Manjapra, Miranda Seymour, David Olusoga, Edmund de Waal, Katie Hickman, Anthony Sattin, and Anita Anand, amongst others.

For the entire programme visit here.

Speaking on the occasion of today’s preview,NamitaGokhale, writer, publisher, and Co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “2022 has been an important landmark in the world recognition of Indian and South Asian literature. International Booker prize winner Geetanjali Shree, and her English translator Daisy Rockwell will join us, as will Sri Lankan author & Booker winner ShehanKarunatilaka. We are deeply honoured to have Nobel laureate AbdulrazakGurnah and so many other international and SahityaAkademi awardees. Our programme as always forefronts new voices across languages and cultures and spans a wide arc from geopolitics, history, religion and spirituality, prose, poetry and argumentative discourse to planetary concerns, crime-writing, detective fiction and psychological thrillers, appropriately titled ‘Jaipur Noir’. The Jaipur BookMark too returns onground to examine publishing perspectives.”

William Dalrymple, writer, historian and Co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, "Every year we try and raise the bar at the annual Jaipur Literature Festival, but 2023 will undoubtedly be our finest festival yet. We are proud to present almost all the year's most decorated writers: we have the winners of the Nobel, Booker, SahityaAkademi, Baillie Gifford, National Book Awards & Women's Prize. We have brought together the world's greatest novelists & poets, historians and biographers, scientists & economists, artists & art historians: a free-flowing gathering of great literary minds that is like a global super university opening its gates for anyone who wants to attend for five whole days. It's going to be extraordinary and should not be missed!"

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “Jaipur Literature Festival is a platform for spreading considered knowledge and presenting different perspectives on complex issues of our times. In 2023, the Festival will focus on themes such as climate crisis, geopolitics, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Indo-China relations, agriculture, and energy. The 16th edition of the Festival will be hosting the world's greatest writers, including Nobel Prize winner AbdulrazakGurnah; International Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree;  Booker Prize winners  ShehanKarunatilaka, Marlon James, BernardineEvaristo, Howard Jacobson,  Booker Prize finalist NoViolet Bulawayo & Women's Prize winner Ruth Ozeki. As we embark on a new year, we bring to you a stellar line-up that celebrates the power of words!”

The Delhi Curtain Raiser this evening at The Leela Palace saw a breathtaking performance by the Barmer Boys welcoming the audience with their Rajasthani folk and Sufi music penetrating the walls of the palace with an exemplary performance.

AnuraagBhatnagar, Chief Operating Officer, The Leela Palaces, said, “The Leela brand celebrates the essence of India and the richness within. The Jaipur Literature Festival is a prestigious event that has, over the years, found pride of place in not just the country but the global social and cultural calendar, providing a platform for an evocative exchange of ideas and generating meaningful dialogue. We are extremely delighted to partner with this event for the second year to support and celebrate the passion and the spirit that resonate with our discerning guests.”

South Asia’s biggest publishing conclave, the prestigious Jaipur BookMark, returns to the annual Jaipur Literature Festival with its ninth edition, bringing together publishers, editors, literary agents, writers, translators and booksellers from across the world. This year, the focus would be on translations and the world of children's publishing. In addition, there are sessions on podcasts, queer writing, formats such as eBooks and audiobooks, books focusing on the mind, body and spirit, book awards and much more. While the audience will get to hear from experts deeply immersed in translations and children's literature, they will also get a chance to be inspired by industry leaders telling them why they believe in books. The eclectic mix of sessions and speakers promises to present a host of ideas that will be of interest to the publishing fraternity as well as anybody who is interested in books and publishing. This year, the conclave will feature an exemplary line-up of writers, literary agents, speakers and publishing luminaries, including Daisy Rockwell, Arunava Sinha, Mini Krishnan, UrvashiButalia, Charlie Redmayne, K. Srinivas Rao, Kanishka Gupta, Ravi DC, Gaurav Srinagesh, Radhika Menon, Neeraj Jain and Mridula Koshy.

This year, the Festival is made possible with the support of our partners who are committed to promoting this platform. Some of the key partners this year are Bank of Baroda, British Council, Culture Island, Diageo, Ekank, Etsy, Howard University Press, Manipal Hospitals, Penguin Random House, Reckitt, The JCB Prize for Literature, The Royal Norwegian Embassy, UN Women. The Festival has also been graciously supported by Mukesh Bansal, Founder Myntra and CEO of cult.fit.