Curtains went up on the 10th edition of Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) at the Taj Mansingh in the Capital on Tuesday. The five-day literary extravaganza, which will bring together over 250 writers and nearly four lakh book-lovers, will be held at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur from January 19-23.
At the curtain-raiser event, organisers announced a new batch of 10 writers who will be attending the event. So far, names of 90 speakers have been announced. Among the big names attending this edition of the Zee-JLF are writers Margo Jefferson, Richard Flanagan, Alan Hollinghurst, Ha-Joon Chang, Dexter Filkins, Emma Sky and SL Bhyrappa.
JLF Co-Founder William Dalrymple termed the 10th edition a landmark event for him. “We started with a few dozen visitors and the last edition saw 3.3 lakh people come to Jaipur to attend the festival. We have grown so big that in coming years we will have to move some of the less literary activities and panel discussions to another venue,” said Dalrymple.
This year will see a larger presence of poets, screenplay writers, historians and international journalists, Dalrymple said. He attributed JLF’s success to Co-Founder Namita Gokhale’s knack for unearthing fascinating writers from the grassroots and his ability to bring writers with international standing to Jaipur.
JLF Producer and Co-Founder Sanjoy Roy said some principles have been adhered to all these 10 years. He said JLF has been able to provide a platform for good literature and ensure access to all, irrespective of the economic class.
Gokhale said that in an increasingly parochial and polarised world, it is literature that helps people scale walls. She also emphasised the importance of translations to access cultures that would otherwise be inaccessible and giving space to those who are marginalised by social, political and economic processes.
The organisers thanked the Zee Group for its continuing patronage of the festival, a partnership which is now entering the fourth year.