JLF announces first list of speakers for 2023 edition

To celebrate the power of literature

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Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and Teamwork Arts
Jaipur Literature Festival 2022. Photo IPP

Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will be back in the pink city in 2023. Teamwork Arts, the Festival’s producer, announced the dates for its 16th edition, setting them between 19 – 23 January 2023 at Hotel Clarks, Amer, Jaipur. The annual Jaipur Literature Festival will be as always bringing its magnificent line-up and a sumptuous feast of ideas to the pink city. 

The festival will continue to remain committed to its core values – to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform ensuring inclusivity and freedom of speech. The past 15 years have seen the iconic Festival transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted nearly 5,000 speakers and artists reaching out to over 200 million people globally. Hybrid versions of the festival have enabled book-lovers from across continents to access it.

In 2023, the literary extravaganza will showcase a plethora of themes and writers curated specially for its loyal community of audiences from across the world, offering an immersive experience of literature, discourse, musical performances, art installations, merchandise, local cuisine, and more. The festival will offer a representation of all Indian national languages and multiple foreign languages with sessions spread across 5 venues with over 250 speakers.

The first list of 25 speakers includes the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature Abdulrazak Gurnah; noted Sahitya Akademi awardee, Hindi poet, translator and writer of Aienasaaz, Anamika; acclaimed author of the recent Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World, Anthony Sattin; DSC Prize shortlisted and the prestigious Gratiaen Prize nominated Sri Lankan author Ashok Ferrey; one of India’s highest-selling English fiction writers Ashwin Sanghi; gifted Naga writer Avinuo Kire whose latest novel is Where the Cobbled Path Leads; the first mixed-race woman author to win the Booker Prize for her Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo; the two-time Booker Prize shortlisted Chigozie Obioma; translator of the International Booker winner novel Ret Samadhi/Tomb of Sand, Daisy Rockwell; celebrated Indian actress, director and writer Deepti Naval.

The list continues with Booker Prize-winning British novelist Howard Jacobson; Mumbai-based poet, novelist, short story writer, translator & well-known journalist Jerry Pinto; author of the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award longlisted book Intimacies, Katie Kitamura; distinguished mathematics professor and author of The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math, Manil Suri; Prize-winning author of the bestselling books The Written World and The Language of Thieves, Martin Puchner; Turkish-American author, academic, and literary critic Merve Emre; 2022 Booker Prize shortlisted author of Glory, NoViolet Bulawayo; Indian writer, blogger and translator Rana Safvi; Booker-nominated American-Canadian author, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki.

The Festival will also feature the author of the bestselling Empireland: How Imperialism Has Been Shaped Modern Britain which inspired Channel 4’s Empire State of Mind, Sathnam Sanghera; Booker-shortlisted author of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Shehan Karunatilaka; winner of the 2019 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar Award, Tanuj Solanki; author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice book The Immortal King Rao, Vauhini Vara; American historian and academic Vincent Brown; well-known Indian journalist who became the youngest editor in the history of Indian journalism Vir Sanghvi.

Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher, and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, ”As we prepare to welcome book-lovers to Jaipur in January, we are delighted to share some of the stellar names who will be joining us. From Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah to debut novelist Avinuo Kire, from International Booker Prize Winner Daisy Rockwell to the startlingly original Vauhini Vara, from Sahitya Akademi awardee Anamika to mathematician Manil Suri, from Chigozie Obioma, twice shortlisted for the Booker, to Shehan Karunatilaka, who is on this year’s list, this is a menu of delights for readers of all literary appetites and persuasions. And this is just a taster of the delights to come.”

William Dalrymple, writer, historian and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “This year we are proud to present a galaxy of some of the greatest writers on the planet – a fabulous array of Nobel, Booker, Pulitzer, Sahitya Academy, Women’s Prize and Baillie Gifford award winners, laureates and medallists.” “This year we have so much to offer that I believe it to be the most cerebral, intellectually stimulating and high-powered we’ve ever fielded. We import some of the world’s most admired novelists, including Abdulrazak Gurnah, Bernadine Evaristo, Ruth Ozeki, Shehan Karunatilaka, NoViolet Bulawayo and Katie Kitamura as well as arguably the world’s greatest authority on the history of slavery, Vincent Brown. Among the international authors appearing this year, we present writers of genius as brilliant as Harvard critical polymath Martin Puchner and his Oxford and Yale counterpart, Merve Emre.  We deeply delve into areas of world literature we have so far failed to explore; look in detail at the turmoil in the Ukraine, Russia and Iran; we explore a vast range of subjects from Neanderthals to Leonardo da Vinci; from the agonies of Partition to the Right to Sex. It’s an incredible line-up, absolutely not to be missed,” Dalrymple added.

Sanjoy K Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, who produces the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “The Jaipur Literature Festival will feature some of the greatest minds of the contemporary world including Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah, Booker Prize nominees and winners including Bernardine Evaristo, Howard Jacobson, Chigozie Obioma, NoViolet Bulawayo and celebrated Indian authors Ashwin Sanghi, Deepti Naval, Jerry Pinto and many more. This year will also focus on celebrating languages with a program concentrated on Indian and world literature.”

The Festival will include its B2B arm, Jaipur BookMark (JBM), now in its 10th edition. JBM will continue to bring together a wide range of publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, translation agencies and booksellers from across the world and give them an opportunity to meet, talk business and listen to major global industry players.

The Jaipur Literature Festival sets literary conversations and dialog against a cultural backdrop promoting India’s traditional heritage including curated art installations, cultural evenings and the Jaipur Music Stage, which runs parallel to the Festival.

Registration and access to the online edition of the festival will be free and open to all. Registration to the on-ground edition of the festival will be available from Rs 200 per day. Attendees can also purchase Friends of the Festival Packages, which offer a special experience of the Festival and take them on a compelling cultural journey.

In addition to enjoying the literary sessions, audiences will also get to savor the festival’s signature morning and evening music sessions with performances by leading artistes and virtuosos. The signature handmade and artisanal festival merchandise and books by participating authors will be available both at the Festival Bazaar, the Festival Bookstore and online on the Jaipur Literature Festival’s official website.

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