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Zee JLF 2018: Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and other prominent authors to turn speakers at the event

The festival’s core values remain unchanged; to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access.

Zee JLF 2018: Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and other prominent authors to turn speakers at the event

New Delhi: One of the most awaited literary events in the country where intellectual minds get together under roof—Zee Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) 2018 is about to kickstart from January 25.

The event will take place from January 25 to 29, 2018. The‘greatest literary show on Earth’ returns to the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur for its 11th edition. Also known as the ‘Kumbh Mela of literature’, the Festival has transformed into a global phenomenon, having hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million book lovers over the past decade.

This year, the festival will host over 250 writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from over 35 nationalities, spanning over 15 Indian and 20 international languages as well as those representing major awards such as the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer Prize, the Padma Vibhusan and the Sahitya Akademi Award.

A number of Mumbai-based speakers were featured in the second list, including bestselling novelist Amish who will discuss his reinterpretations of ancient mythology, including the enigmatic Sita and the complex divinity in Ram, at the 2018 edition of the Festival.

Ashwin Sanghi, whose work straddles history, philosophy, fantasy and science will shed light on his new book Keepers of the Kalchakra. The legendary writer Javed Akhtar and noted actress Shabana Azmi will discuss their poetic heritage through their respective fathers, Jan Nisar Akhtar and Kaifi Azmi, in a session on the traditions of Urdu literature.

Author Kiran Nagarkar will speak about the ceaselessness of languages and the art of crisscrossing cultural and linguistic landscapes while actress Soha Ali Khan will reveal all about her disarmingly frank memoir. Also, director, writer, producer and actor Anurag Kashyap will speak on his cinematic sensibility and consciousness.

As expected, international literary stalwarts will also speak at the Festival. Young readers are set for a treat with the unparalleledAnthony Horowitz, creator of the multi-million selling Alex Rider series, and the refreshing Julia Donaldson whose modern classics, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, have taken countless children on a splendid journey.

The brilliant theoretical physicist Lisa Randall will also feature as part of the programming with a fascinating discussion that challenges the stereotypes of gender.

Historian, Harvard professor and author of The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World, Maya Jasanoff, discusses the journey of one of the most riveting figures in literary history. Writer and journalist such as Peter Bergen, the author of Manhunt, one of the few to have interviewed Osama bin Laden and the first journalist to gain access into Abbottabad as well as Suki Kim, the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea and the author of New York Times bestselling literary nonfiction Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite.

For the first time, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival kicked off its preview tour in Mumbai, bringing together Festival Co-Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple and Producer Sanjoy K. Roy as they walked down memory lane and gave the audience a glimpse of the making of the world’s largest free literature festival. It was followed by a reading from Dalrymple’s The White Mughals with renditions by vocalist Vidya Shah.

Guests were mesmerised as Dalrymple read from a section on the celebrated and tragic love story of James Achilles Kirkpatrick, an 18th century British resident to the Hyderabadi court, and noblewoman Khair-un-Nissa. Shah juxtaposed his powerful narration with hypnotic music from the Hyderabadi court of that time and the poetry of the great courtesan Mah Laqa Bai Chanda. A preview event in Delhi is set to take place on 12th December.

The Getty Foundation, the British Council, the Aga Khan Foundation and Nordic countries too have come together to support and strengthen the Festival. Harvard University Press, The Murty Classical Library, Westland, Kindle Direct Publishing, Avid Learning and Kingfisher (as Good Times Partner) have also partnered with the Festival.

“We take immense pride in being an integral part of the world’s largest free literary festival. It is heartening to see the overwhelming support the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival receives from all quarters, the Government, the authors, corporate sponsors and last but not least, the audience that inspires us to do our best year after year. Cultural philanthropy will be a focus for us at ZEE going forward, as we recognise the need for public-private partnerships to revive and propagate the arts,” said Shreyasi Goenka, Content Adviser, DNA.

Speaking on the occasion, author and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said, “I have had a long personal association with Mumbai, and I am thrilled and delighted to be here for the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival curtain-raiser in this brilliant, beautiful city with its vibrant tradition of creativity and culture spanning film and theatre, literature and the arts.”

The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcoming over a million booklovers from across India and the globe.

The festival’s core values remain unchanged; to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access.