Jaipur Literature Festival — the much awaited annual celebration of literature and wonderful writing, will complete a decade in 2017. On the occasion, the prestigious festival has announced ‘The Freedom to Dream: India at 70’ as its theme and will focus on 70 years of India as a democracy. The Pink City will host the five-day fest from January 19 to 23, 2017 at Diggi Palace Hotel.
Ahead of the festival that has seen eminent writers and thinkers come together under one roof in the past, the names of authors and literary personalities will be revealed in an interesting way. To celebrate its 10th edition, the organisers will unveil the speakers with their initiative #10speakers10weeks. And two lists have already been declared.
The third list of names was unveiled on November 1 (Tuesday) and has Ajay Navaria, one of the most celebrated Hindi writers of his generation famous for his short stories Unclaimed Terrain, Anya Kahaniyan, Yes Sir and his novel Udhar ke Log; Manju Kapur, whose Difficult Daughters won the Commonwealth Prize for the Best First Novel, Eurasia region; Margo Jefferson, the author of Negroland: A Memoir, which received the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Other literary personalities in the list include Marcos Giralt Torrente, Neelima Dalmia Adhar, Alex Ross, Ha-Joon Chang, Roy Foster, Linda Colley and Jeremy Paxman.
The first list has the likes of Richard Flanagan, the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize; Sir David Hare, the well-known English playwright and screenwriter, the two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Hours and The Reader; Alice Walker, first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel The Color Purple among other eminent writers like SL Bhyrappa, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Mark Haddon, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Eka Kurniawan, Alan Hollinghurst and No Violet Bulawayo.
The second list includes Neil MacGregor, Scottish art historian who has worked as the director of the National Gallery, London and the British Museum; Tahmima Anam, British-Bangladeshi novelist who won the Best First Book Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for A Golden Age in 2008; internationally acclaimed poet Anne Waldman, author of over 40 books of poetry, she also won the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry, among Swanand Kirkire, Vikram Chandra, Roberto Calasso, Ruth Padel, Dexter Filkins, Narendra Kohli and Simon Winchester.
According to William Dalrymple, writer, historian and JLF co-director, “Each year at Jaipur we try to produce a programme more remarkable than the year before, but 2017’s Jaipur list is certainly the most astonishing we have ever fielded.”
That’s 70 more names to go and seven more lists awaited.