JAIPUR: Featuring more than 200 sessions spanning a multitude of topics like gender, environment and science along with literature, the upcoming Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 will be a coming together of diverse literary, artistic, and discursive forms that will feature Indian and global perspectives. The festival organisers, in announcing the full schedule on Friday said this will raise the bar that the much coveted event has set in the previous years.
The marquee sessions of the January 25-29, 2018 event at Jaipur's Diggi Palace include British playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, winner of an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for "Shakespeare in Love," discussing his life and work in a fascinating free-flowing session titled "The Real Thing"; a discussion aptly titled "The Great Survivor," where former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and William Dalrymple will discuss his life, legacy and leadership through the country's recent turbulent times, his views on India's role in Afghanistan past and present and his predictions for his country's future.
In "The Bridget Jones' Diaries", novelist Helen Fielding will speak with publisher Meru Gokhale of the comic and the tragic, film and fiction and Bridget Jones' bumpy ride to motherhood. In "Conspiracy of Bones," which combines crime with popular science, Kathy Reichs, an American crime writer, forensic anthropologist, academic and producer of the TV series "Bones" will speak of her writing, popular science and communication, crime and punishment, gender and equity.
Writer Akhil Sharma, in a session titled "A Life of Adventure and Delight", will be in conversation with Chandrahas Choudhury on his writing and the astonishing intensity and emotional precision he brings to his craft. In "The Joy Luck Club", celebrated novelist Amy Tan will speak to Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi about her extraordinary life and her emergence as a writer of stature against many odds.
In "The Art of Stillness", Britain-born Indian origin essayist Pico Iyer, who leads a nomadic life between a Benedictine hermitage in California, Nara in Japan and international airports around the world, will be speaking with writer and historian Patrick French about his life and work, movement and stillness, changelessness and change.
Attendees can also look forward to spirited poetry sessions such as "Jan Nisar and Kaifi" with Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi in conversation with Rakhshanda Jalil; "Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods" with Tishani Doshi, introduced by Jeet Thayil; and "Nude: The Poet Within" in which Vishal Bhardwaj will be in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar.
"In its 11th edition, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival lives up to its promise of being the grand dame of diversity, magnitude and sheer range in programming - there is something here for everyone, much to explore and to suit every literary palate. The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival sets literary conversations, debates and dialogue against the backdrop of built and cultural heritage including curated art installations, world music performances at the Music Stage and cultural evenings at heritage venues like the Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal," the organisers said in a statement.
The programme also celebrates the diversity of languages. In "Lok Bhasha: The Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the Year," the first ever Oxford Dictionaries 'Hindi Word of the Year' will be announced, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Anu Singh Choudhary and featuring Ashok Vajpeyi, Pankaj Dubey, Saurabh Dwivedi, Vinod Dua and Yatindra Misra on new trends in Hindi usage and writing.
Environment and climate change will take new shape in "River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India's Future," where the former India correspondent for the Financial Times, Victor Mallet, traces the holy river from its source to the sea and from ancient times to the present day when it is choked with sewage and toxic waste.
In "Conflicts of Interest: Betrayals of the Earth," a session that addresses the cause and consequence of climate catastrophe, Sunita Narain, Jairam Ramesh and Jeffrey Gettleman will be in conversation with Amita Baviskar.