Jaipur Literature Festival back in virtual avatar

All set to kick-start on February 19, the programme has a spectacular line-up of speakers

By   |  Published: 23rd Jan 2021  5:21 pm

Jaipur: The Jaipur Literature Festival returns in a virtual avatar from February 19-28 featuring a spectacular line-up of speakers from across the world, consisting of writers, poets, playwrights, thinkers, politicians, journalists, cultural icons and recipients of major literary awards including the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, JCB Prize for Literature, Commonwealth, European Union Prize, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

The programme is vast and kaleidoscopic, with themes ranging from Technology & AI, Politics & History, Environment & Climate Change, Mental Health, Economics, Translations, Poetry & Music, Food & Literature, Geopolitics, Science & Medicine, Democracy & Constitutions, Water & Sustainability, Historical Fiction and Travel et al.

Some highlights from the programme include Glasgow-born author Douglas Stuart whose 2020 Booker Prize-winning debut novel Shuggie Bain evokes the essence of addiction, parenthood, courage and love.

Following the bond between a son and his mother, fractured by alcoholism, poverty, aspiration and human misery, the novel graphs an intimate devastating yet ultimately hopeful journey through their lives. In conversation with writer and playwright Paul McVeigh, Stuart will unravel the thought and process behind bringing this heartbreaking story out into the world.

The Festival continues its rediscovery of the vast heritage of India’s languages. In a session focused on Hindi poetry, scholar and academic Rupert Snell will speak of the enduring legacy of the 17th century Bihari Satsai with its evocative romantic imagery and visual vocabulary, in conversation with fellow scholar, academic and translator Harish Trivedi.

Speaking on the programme, author and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said: “It’s been a joyous challenge to work on the programming for Jaipur Literature Festival 2021. We look at our transformative times and try to understand the future through the lens of the present and the past. Our hybrid digital outreach has opened up a new universe of possibilities.

Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said: “A year after the world was felled by the pandemic, we have persevered and shown that human endurance can and will prevail, fuelled by knowledge and information, empathy and the right to justice. The Jaipur Literature Festival is representative of these ideals and will continue to be a platform to celebrate the joy of knowledge.”