29 January, 2019

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Salil Desai, #Author of The Sane Psychopath

*** Special Feature - January 2019 ***

Quick Recap:

About the Book:

Are some crimes unpardonable? 
A young lawyer is about to find out. 
It was just another day in Pune. Just another morning. 
Until a man decided otherwise. 
And left an entire city horrified . . . scared . . . angry . . . baying for blood. 

This is the story of Shanker Lande, driver of a state transport bus, who goes on a bone-chilling hour-long rampage on the streets of Pune—killing 10, maiming 70, and damaging over 100 vehicles, before he is captured. 

In this case of Shanker Lande vs the city of Pune, the difference between the criminal and the victims is clear as night and day. But a young idealistic lawyer, Varun Gupte, a Punekar, still decides to defend Lande. And in the process seeks help from a psychiatrist, a man who lost his son to the same incident. 

Caught in the pincer grip of their dilemmas, do the two men crumble? Do they unearth the truth? And does the truth absolve Lande?

Inspired by a real incident, The Sane Psychopath is a fictional exploration of a frightening murderous phenomenon of our times.

Book Links:

An Interview:

Murder on a Side street was your debut novel. What do you remember the most from your first publishing experience?
Murder on a Side Street was my second novel. My debut novel was ‘The Body in the Back Seat’ (2011), which was later republished by Fingerprint as Killing Ashish Karve (2014), the first Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series novel.

What have you done differently since then?
Well, when I wrote my first novel, I was just eager to be published and read. I hadn’t even thought that the book would be successful enough to lead on to a series. I had already started work on my second novel, which was a light-hearted murder mystery aimed at the young crowd. It was completely different from my first novel which was very dark and intense. Also I was working on a book of short stories ‘Lost Libido and Other Gulp Fiction’. So I was experimenting a lot. Then encouraged by the response to the first Saralkar mystery, Killing Ashish Karve, I embarked on two back to back Inspector Saralkar novels – The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen (2015) and 3 and a Half Murders (2017). It involved a lot of hard work, but I was in my element, because I loved my characters and knew exactly what to do with them and with my plot. It was like being a batsman in form. However, it also exhausted me and I then decided to write a different kind of thriller, ‘The Sane Psychopath’, based on a true incident that happened in Pune in 2012. Again, given my urge to always experiment, I am happy that my sixth novel ‘The Sane Psychopath’ (2018) breaks the mould in terms of narration, story-telling, subject and tone. I think the only way a writer can hope to surprise readers is by experimenting.

Lost Libido and other Gulp Fiction is a collection of short stories that is vastly different from your famed mystery series. What was your aim with it?
My aim was to simply test myself by writing stories from different genres. I like to read short stories myself and realized it’s the best vehicle to capture the chaotic, cultural flux of urban India today and people’s reactions to the myriad problems, temptations and tricky choices that life throws at them.

What is your writing process like? Do you out every detail first or just go with the flow after the outline?
Generally speaking, I etch out the plot and story outline and then begin writing. But it’s not as simple as that, because writing is both a creative and tedious process at the same time – you have to work to a broad plan, yet leave a lot of room for spontaneity and change.

What is the trickiest part of your artistic process? And which aspects do you enjoy the most?
Actually the trickiest part is to convert a story idea into a narrative that has something meaningful to say in a way that is exciting, interesting and insightful. An author and his writing share a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I enjoy every bit of it, sometimes I hate it, especially when I am unable to make headway.

How many drafts do you usually write?
It would be great to say several drafts, but I must confess, I generally am able to crack it in one draft, with a lot of re-writing along the way. That’s because I have this habit of writing, reading the next morning, scratching out the parts I don’t like and re-writing. And then of course, there are always some changes and re-writing when my editor starts editing the manuscript.

What are your personal reading preferences? Does what you read influence how you write?
I love reading a lot of non-fiction on varied topics, plenty of history and all fiction that can take me beyond the first 20 pages. Yes, what I read certainly influences what I write, but not in terms of my style or content, but in terms of deepening my understanding of human beings, human life and the world.

What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success to me is either popular or critical acclaim or if possible both. It means writing books that won’t be forgotten. It means leaving readers with at least one thought or even one sentence that lingers on in their minds long after they have finished reading my book. Literary success also means being able to earn a living by writing fiction.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Good question. Yes, I read each and every review of my books whether in newspapers, blogs or even those on Amazon and Goodreads and so on. I also read feedback sent directly to me by readers. Mercifully most reviews of all my books have been good, even great. It would be dishonest to say I don’t wince when I read a bad review, but it does not bother me unduly.

One advice for every aspiring author out there.
All I can say is that being an author is a heart-breaking ordeal and only if you can weather multiple rejections and disappointments, should you attempt to be a writer. 

About the Author:

Salil Desai is an author, columnist, and film-maker based in Pune. He is best known for his much-acclaimed Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series which includes 3 and a Half Murders (2017), The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen (2015), and Killing Ashish Karve (2014). His other popular books are Murder on a Side Street (2011) as well as a collection of short stories, Lost Libido and

Other Gulp Fiction (2012). The Sane Psychopath (2018) is his sixth book.
An alumnus of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Salil’s dramatized management training videos (www.relivingindia.
com) are much appreciated in the corporate world. He also conducts intensive workshops in creative fiction writing, story
and scenario design, screenplay writing and film-making.
Salil was also one of the four international authors worldwide selected for the HALD International Writers’ Residency in
Denmark, hosted by the Danish Centre for Writers & Translators in June 2016.

Stalk the Author:
Website * Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series * Goodreads

Two lucky Indian Residents can win a paperback copy each of The Sane Psychopath.

26 January, 2019

#GuestPost :: 7 Poetry Books I’ve Enjoyed Reading by Vinay Leo

I love reading poetry almost as much as I love writing it. A good poem is beautiful and conveys something. It needn’t rhyme or have “n” number of syllables or a set meter. It could, of course, but it is not necessary. It could talk of love in the most complex language, or observe a cat sitting on a mat (like the poem in Dead Poets’ Society). Over the years, I’ve read a fair few poetry books. Today, I share with you five books I’ve absolutely loved reading, in no particular order of ranking.

Dancing Earth, poetry anthology edited by Robin Ngangom and Kynpham Nongkynrih

I found this collection of poems at a second hand books sale many years ago. It was one of the first books I acquired. It was the title and the cover that caught my eye. This anthology of poems contains poetry from poets of North East India, translated from the original languages into English. The poems in this collection make me contemplate life. They encompass various themes too.

Read my review of this BOOK

The Essential Rumi 

Rumi, to me, brings both poetry and philosophy in one. From him, and this book came one of my favorite quotes: “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” Simple, yet beautiful, and so succinctly put. It still makes a difference to life. This collection appealed to me, and it is a collection I peruse once in a while. I have no doubt I’ll continue to do so.

Read my review of this BOOK

Pluto by Gulzar

If anyone asks me for a recommendation in the genre, this would be the first book that would come to mind. I have suggested it to a few friends already, and they have enjoyed reading it as well. I think Gulzar saab would be synonymous to poetry for many readers, and it’s no different to me. I read this book four years back, and even now a couplet remains close to my heart, that I can recollect it easily. That’s the power of poetry, and of saab’s words. 

Read my review of this BOOK

Silence and Sound by Namitha K

This is a book that came to me quite unexpectedly. A self published book. It was the yin-yang of the title that caught my attention. The cover makes sense too though not “wow” by any means. I loved a couple of the poems in it, and could relate to them personally. There were others I could understand. Some were simple, others intense. I remember feeling happy that it came my way, and it’s something I’m still thankful for.

Read my review of this BOOK

The Select Nonsense of Sukumar Ray

I’m very sure that if someone hadn’t gifted this book to me on my birthday, this book would have not crossed paths with me. And that would have been my loss. It’s easy to write about sadness, I can vouch for that, but it’s a little harder to write a poem that brings joy and lifts a burden at the same time. This book has many poems that do that. Unpretentious, simple, rhyming, humorous… one might wonder how it is called nonsense and yet it feels so sensible. I loved this collection! 

Read my review of this BOOK

Ruskin Bond's Book of Verse. 

I never knew one of my favorite storytellers had a collection of poems. That was what made me buy this book. What I liked in this collection of verse is the simplicity in presentation, which leaves the reader still mesmerized after the read. The cover page design is also quite appealing as is the poem on the back cover.

Read my review of this BOOK

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

The book is quite fun, and with the images accompanying it, the story helps to teach children the value of perseverance, and also how we cannot know if we like something until we try it. The rhyme is very catchy and fun to read out loud, definitely enjoyable for children to do. For me, it was like a fifteen minute read perhaps, but I think children would love to see the pictures, read it slowly and savor it.

Read my review of this BOOK

Do you read poetry? Would these rank in your top 5 too? If not, let me know your absolute favorite. If it’s a regional book, I’d appreciate if you can direct me to an English translation too. 

25 January, 2019

Keynote address by Juergen Boos at Jaipur BookMark 2019

Dear Namita Gokhale, Festival Director
Dear William Dalrymple, Festival Director
Dear Sanjoy K. Roy, Festival Producer
Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

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Thank you very much for the invitation to speak here today. The Jaipur Literature Festival is a festival of cultures, language, ideas and literature, and I feel very privileged to have the chance over the next few days to listen to so many Indian authors and personalities from around the world and to converse with them.

After all, that is the fundamental principle of any literature festival: creating an environment for interactions that promote the free exchange of ideas and opinions.

The free exchange of ideas and opinions – never has that been easier than today, in the 21st century.

And never has it been so threatened.

Over the past 20 years, communications technology has taken an evolutionary leap, one that surpasses anything the most far-sighted science-fiction writers of the 19th and 20th centuries could have imagined.

In Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey” from the year 1968, Dr Heywood Floyd, an astronaut, has a “videophone call” with his daughter while at the space station.
Fifty years later, in the summer of 2018, the German astronaut Alexander Gerst used his mobile phone to take fascinating photos of his time at the International Space Station, images which were transmitted around the world.

Videophones, computer tablets, artificial intelligence, voice control – many of the things that Kubrick envisaged 50 years ago have become reality.

According to the 2018 Global Digital Report,[1] of the four billion people around the world who have access to the Internet, more than three billion use social media every month.  Nine out of ten users log on to their chosen platforms using mobile devices.

The number of people who use the most popular platforms in their respective country has grown over the last 12 months by almost one million new users each day.

What I find remarkable here is that not only has communications technology made a quantum leap, the devices that allow the world’s population to participate in the global conversation have also become so inexpensive that almost everyone can afford one.

That is giving rise to a previously unknown participatory process, one that has the power to change democracy’s traditional ground rules: 

Everyone today is in a position to publish whatever they want – using blogs, podcasts and self-publishing platforms, as well as traditional publishing houses. News is transmitted around the globe in the fraction of a second, and social networks allow us to reach more readers and viewers than ever before.

In just a minute I will talk about the challenges and consequences that are resulting for the publishing industry.

First, however, let’s look at the darker side of these developments:

In the 21st century, a few select businesses have become private superpowers. They can do more than most countries to promote or prevent a free exchange of opinions. Via social networks, phenomena like the viral spread of fake news, hate speech and slander now have a global impact. 

Professional trolls strategically destabilise political discourse online, fuelling populist, nationalist and anti-democratic tendencies throughout Europe and around the globe.

One observes that, here in India, free speech is facing a threat sprouting from religious motivations, political biases and social judgments.  Attempts in the recent past to silence journalists, writers, filmmakers and publishers reflect the rise of identity politics and apathy on the part of the state. Two journalists of international repute – Gauri Lankesh and Shujaat Bukhari – were shot dead within a span of nine months. Publisher friends like DC Books, Kalachuvadu Publications and their authors have witnessed attacks by fanatics who may have never even read the books in question.

When I look at the hysteria, hatred and hostility that characterise the discussion in social media, the permanent state of turmoil that societies around the world find themselves in, then I begin to doubt whether we are actually capable of using the communications technologies whose development we are so proud of.

To paraphrase Goethe: “The spirits I called / I now cannot rule”.  

In social media, language is used as a destructive weapon day in and day out, and it’s become clear how disastrous this can be for those individuals targeted by the bullying. It can even lead to murder.   
In his 2016 book Free Speech, which you undoubtedly know, the British historian Timothy Garton Ash examines the question of how free speech should take place.

He asks which social, journalistic, educational, artistic and other possibilities can be realised to ensure that free speech proves beneficial by facilitating creative provocation without destroying lives and dividing societies.[2]

He comes to the conclusion that the less we want to have laid out by law, the more we have to do ourselves.

After all, Ash explains, there is no law that can draw a line between freedom and anarchy – every individual must look within before expressing himself or herself and must take responsible decisions.
I would like to talk with you about this “how” in the coming days and hear your opinions.

Personally, I feel that the participatory process I mentioned before requires us – our industry, but also each of us as individuals – to take a stance. Expressing an opinion of this type was long reserved for politicians or the media. Today, in the 21st century, we all have the possibility of making our voices heard.

And we should not do that in keeping with the motto “overnewsed but uninformed,” but in a carefully considered manner.

I believe that this permanent state of turmoil is troubling, this hysteria which does not stop at speech, but which now increasingly leads to violence.

Personally, I’m alarmed at how the language we use is becoming increasingly coarse and, following from that, the way we interact with each other. 

The problem about this state of turmoil is that it usually results in the exclusion of others and, consequently, causes even deeper trenches to be dug.  

Yet how can we deal with the challenges of our time – and find solutions to them – if not in dialogue with each other?

That leads to the question: what responsibility do publishers bear, does our industry bear, today, in the post-Gutenberg era?

How can publishing houses and their products remain relevant in an age in which fake news can be disseminated faster than well-researched books?

In which rumours, supposition and conjecture are more quickly viewed, liked and shared than texts capable of explaining complex contexts?

As my friends Kristenn Einarsson and José Borghino have pointed out on many occasions, “If we are to create and maintain free, healthy societies, then publishers must have the will and the ability to challenge established thinking, preserve the history of our cultures, and make room for new knowledge, critical opposition and challenging artistic expression”.

Publishers in the 21st century are in a privileged position: the industry looks back on a long tradition, on the one hand, and has built a reputation. Publishers are gatekeepers – they filter and assess content, they curate before they publish.

They consider it part of their job to publish content that is well-researched, documented, checked and carefully assembled as way of contributing to the range of opinions present in society.

On the other hand, they now have the possibility of reaching their readers through various channels, offering their expertise, their content and their opinion exactly where their target group is found.

Publishers and authors in many parts of the world risk their lives by writing or bringing out books that criticise regimes, uncover injustices and shed light on political failures.

On 15 November 2018, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Arundhati Roy wrote the following in a letter to the Bangladeshi writer, photographer and human rights activist Shahidul Alam: “How your work, your photographs and your words, has, over decades, inscribed a vivid map of humankind in our part of the world – its pain, its joy, its violence, its sorrow and desolation, its stupidity, its cruelty, its sheer, crazy complicatedness – onto our consciousness. Your work is lit up, made luminous, as much by love as it is by a probing, questioning anger born of witnessing at first hand the things that you have witnessed. Those who have imprisoned you have not remotely understood what it is that you do. We can only hope, for their sake, that someday they will.”[3]

As you know, Shahidul Alam was taken into custody in July of last year after he criticised the government of Bangladesh in an interview with Al Jazeera and in various Facebook posts.[4] Fortunately he has since been freed, but the charges against him remain.

Without wanting to turn these very personal remarks by Arundhati Roy into a generalisation, I would just like to say that she has put it in a nutshell when she writes that, through their work, writers, authors, journalists and artists draw a vivid map of humankind in our part of the world.

Journalists and other authors write despite intimidation and threats. Like Shahidul Alam, they are driven by a mixture of love and anger. For that, they deserve our highest esteem and respect.
Writers and journalists are being intimidated and forced into silence all around the world because of their political and social engagement, something we condemn in the strongest possible terms. 

As discoverers and disseminators of ideas and free thought, we, as a community, have a greater responsibility to uphold freedom of expression. At the same time, we cannot withhold our criticism of its misuse.

I hope to have the chance to speak with many of you about these issues in the coming days.

Thank you.

[1] https://wearesocial.com/de/blog/2018/01/global-digital-report-2018
[2] (Kapitel Ideale, Seite 123)
[3] https://pen-international.org/news/arundhati-roy-writes-to-shahidul-alam-day-of-the-imprisoned-writer-2018
[4] https://pen-international.org/news/shahidul-alam-writes-to-arundhati-roy

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24 January, 2019

Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry at Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2019

Every year, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival celebrates poetry as one of literature’s most effective and powerful art forms and recognises the best among India’s plethora of young and talented poets announcing the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry. In association with the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Foundation, the award is a tribute to Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia and his immense repertoire. In addition to a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, the winner receives an opportunity to share the stage with literary heavyweights at the Festival.

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Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia was a renowned Rajasthani and Hindi poet. The internationally acclaimed writer authored a total of 42 books in Hindi, Urdu and Rajasthani. He was a Freedom fighter, social reformer, educationist and environmentalist who received the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Rajasthan Ratna in 2012. He was selected as a “Living Legend of the 20th Century” on the occasion of the bi-centenary celebration of the US Library of Congress in Washington.

The fourth edition of the award has been awarded to Rajathi Salma, a well-known name to readers of contemporary Tamil literature who will be felicitated at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 at Diggi Palace on the 27th of January at 4:30 pm.

With two volumes of poetry, a short story anthology and two novels, several of which have been translated to other languages, Salma has made her mark as a distinctive literary voice. Lakshmi Holmstrom’s English translation of her novel, entitled The Hour Past Midnight, was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Asian DSC Award.

Salma has been the recipient of several awards and honours, and has also been a special invitee to several book festivals and seminars. She was the only representative of Tamil literature when the University of Chicago organized a two-day seminar, as part of the annual Norman J. Cutler Conference, to discuss her literary works. Salma has been a committed public servant and was the elected President of the Ponnampatti Town Panchayat between 2001-2006 as well as Chairperson of the Social Welfare Board, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.

The Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award is given out after a careful selection process by an eminent jury comprising renowned litterateurs and discerning art aficionados like Namita Gokhale, Sanjoy K. Roy, Sukrita Paul, Sudeep Sen, and Jaiprakash Sethia.

On the announcement of the award, Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts which organises the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival annually, said, “Every year it is our endeavour to provide a democratic platform to young artists, writers and poets to showcase their talent at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The introduction of the Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Award for Poetry recognizes extraordinary work in poetry. In the last few years, there was a lot of focus on poetry with one of our themes being ‘Poetic Imagination’ and this year we have taken another step to promote and appreciate the art form.”

Jury member Jaiprakash Sethia said, “Shri Sethia had the rare distinction of becoming a legend during his lifetime.  A conservative estimate is more than 15 million people globally were aware of Sethiaji and his body of work.”

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23 January, 2019

Heritage evenings at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019

Celebrate India’s cultural diversity at the city’s iconic monuments in partnership with Rajasthan Tourism 
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  • Two Heritage Evenings will be showcased at iconic heritage locations in the city - Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) and Amber Fort.
  • Details of the Heritage Evenings
    • Clothing as Identity @ Jawahar Kala Kendra - A group of skilled artisans from Kutch will showcase their designs on the ramp. Friday, 25th January, 7pm to 8pm.
    • A Majestic Evening @ Amber Fort - An evening of performance and music by Rajasthan Tourism and the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival that will bring together art, culture and built heritage at the magnificent Amber Fort. Saturday, 26th January, 7pm onwards.

Music, dance, and fashion performances will charm audiences at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 during two glorious Heritage Evenings which will be set against the backdrop of the city’s spectacular monuments. On the evenings of January 25th and 26th, in association with Rajasthan Tourism, the Festival will host these grand events at Jaipur’s iconic Amber Fort and the multi-arts centre Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK). While the two evenings are dedicated to the monuments of Jaipur, the spellbinding shows will celebrate the rich and diverse culture of India.

Clothing as Identity is a fashion Show by Artisan Designers of Kutch. This will be a vibrant narration of the diversity and unity found in the rich cultural traditions of Kutch through its prevalent fashions. Numerous communities from Rajasthan, Sindh, Pakistan, Persia and Africa migrated to Kutch bringing with them their traditions, costumes, culture and shaped the region’s unique identity. Accompanied by Rajasthani Folk Music, the hour-long event will exhibit costumes that bring together  folk traditions of Kutch on a chic canvas in a fusion of craft and contemporary silhouettes. Complex traditional textile techniques and skills such as Bhujodi weaves, block prints, Bandhani and Dhebaria Rabari embroidery will be showcased. Presented by Craft Stories Under the Mango Tree, the participating Artisan Designers include:

·         Aslam Abdul Karima Khatri (Ajrakh block printing)
·         Irfan Anwar Khatri (Ajrakh block printing)
·         Abdul Aziz Khatri & Taina Aziz Khatri (Bandhani)
·         Talah Gulam Khatri & Fahad Gulam Khatri (Bandhani)
·         Kunvarben Bhikabhai Rabari (Dhebaria Rabari embroidery)
·         Sajnuben Pachanbhai Rabari (Dhebaria Rabari embroidery)                         
·         Rajesh Vishramji Siju (Bhujodi weaving)
·         Dilip Dahyalal Kudecha (Bhujodi weaving)

A musical evening awaits audiences on Republic Day, January 26th with a mix of enthralling music and dance performances. Rajasthan Tourism, in partnership with the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, will bring together art, culture and built heritage at the magnificent Amber Fort.

The evening will begin with a performance by Folkland, International Centre for Folklore & Culture, Kerala showcasing Theyyam, a ceremonial dance from Kerala, depicting famous folk, tribal and mythological stories with music, dance and mime. A chorus of traditional musical instruments will accompany this stately dance.

Following the performance, Man Booker Prize winner, acclaimed poet, novelist, essayist and playwright Ben Okri will be on stage presenting The Griot, a new kind of live literary experience in the tradition of bards and griots, ancient story-tellers and custodians of oral traditions.

Another highlight of the evening will be a recital by Sitar Ensemble, one of India’s most accomplished sitar duos: Shakir Khan and Azeem Ahmed Alvi. Shakir, son and disciple of Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, and Alvi, a disciple of the sitar maestro, have come together to form this unique collaboration as the 8th generation representatives of the Etawah gharana. Ustad Akram Khan and Hafeez Ahmed Khan will join them on the tabla.

The evening will culminate with 3G – a unique performance that brings together three generations of the only family in India that has been paying rich tributes to Carnatic music for decades. Legendary percussionist Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram, along with his exceptionally talented sons, V. Selvaganesh and Umashankar, and grandson Swaminathan, will celebrate Indian classical music, at the forthcoming majestic evening to be held at Amber Fort. Audiences will witness their unmatched dedication to music and superlative skills on the ghattam (Vikku Vinayakram and Umashankar), hand-drums (Selvaganesh), morsingh (A. Ganesh) and the kanjeera (Swaminathan). Vinayakram’s youngest son Mahesh will join them on vocals.

Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, Producer of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival said, “Ever year, with support from Rajasthan Tourism, Heritage Evenings at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival celebrate the built heritage of the state and highlight its rich cultural and architectural legacy through performing arts. This year, we will present some of the best in earthy fashion, music and folk-dance against the backdrop of two unique spaces – Amber Fort and Jawahar Kala Kendra. The events are exclusively curated to bring the audiences closer to the diverse cultural heritage of India.

Entry to the Heritage Evenings are by invitation only. Guests can enquire at the Information Desk at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival on the days the events are held.

About the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019
Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas.

The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers 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.

Every year, the Festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.

Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producers Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day programme set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital Jaipur.

Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk and Muhammad Yunus, Man Booker Prize winners Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Paul Beatty, Sahitya Akademi winners Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M.T. Vasudevan Nair as well as the late Mahasweta Devi and U.R. Ananthamurthy along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is a flagship event of Teamwork Arts, which produces it along with over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities globally.

Over the years, Teamwork Arts has produced ZEE JLF at The British Library, ZEE JLF at Boulder, JLF at Houston, JLF at New York and JLF in Adelaide.  

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