Meet Jhumpa Lahiri, Samantha Shannon at Jaipur lit fest

Jaipur: Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, British writer Samantha Shannon, actor Irrfan Khan and boxer Mary Kom, besides noted historians, literary critics and activists will attend the Jaipur Literature Festival 2014 here early next year.

The seventh edition of the five-day festival, home to all bookworms and literary lovers, will be held Jan 17-21 at Diggi Palace here.

"In this festival, writers and thinkers from South Asia and around the world will once again debate and attempt to make sense of our changing world through the prism of literature," author Namita Gokhale, the festival co-director, said Tuesday.

In attendance will also be activist Ganesh N. Devy, American social and political activist Gloria Steinem, British historian Antony Beevor, and novelist Geoff Dyer. Hollywood actor Rupert Everett, and travel writers Robyn Davidson and Cheryl Strayed will also be part of several sessions.

Deliberating over many topics and themes will be authors like Vaidehi, Amish Tripathi, Geetanjali Shree, Lily Wangchhuk, and Jerry Pinto.

British historian and writer William Dalrymple and Gokhale are festival directors of the event that has previously hosted acclaimed writers like Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Kiran Desai, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Pico Iyer and Mohammed Hanif.

Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom, whose autobiography will be published next year, will talk about it.

A series of sessions on `Crime and Punishment` will dissect the genre of the detective novel and also look at Bollywood villains, vendetta, and the shadow lines between the good and the bad guys.

Another focal point will be `Women Uninterrupted`, with Lahiri and Shannon as key authors.

National Award winning actor Irrfan Khan will be speaking with screenwriter Sabrina Dhawan of "Monsoon Wedding" fame on screenwriting.

"The diversity of writers, through age, nationality, genre and interest is a testament to the open platform, the festival has become," said Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, which produces the festival.