Clash of titans at Jaipur literature fest

By: | Published: January 11, 2015 1:18 AM

Former friends turned ‘foes’ VS Naipaul, Paul Theroux to share stage together after 15 years; 2013 Man Book Prize winner Eleanor Catton, Bailey’s Prize winner Eimear McBride, among other literary heavyweights, to grace occasion

The programme for the upcoming ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2015—slated to be held between January 21 and 25—is now live on the festival’s website. Visitors can look forward to sessions such as ‘Selfie: The Art of the Memoir’ with Elizabeth Gilbert, ‘The Conflict of Dharma in the Mahabharata’ with Amish Tripathi and Bibek Debroy, as well as a historic session that will see titans of literature Paul Theroux and VS Naipaul appear together on stage.

The festival will open with a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri, eminent Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Kedarnath Singh and iconic poet, anthologist and translator Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Their session, ‘The Poetic Imagination’ will take the audience on a poetic journey with discussions cutting across forms and languages.

JLF 2015 will also offer interesting sessions with literary heavyweights from the field of art, literature and poetry. An exciting addition to the prestigious roster of participants is 2013 Man Book Prize winner Eleanor Catton, who will address the visitors with her session ‘First Triumphs’, joined on stage by Bailey’s Prize winner Eimear McBride.

The biggest blockbuster this season will be the coming together of Nobel Laureate VS Naipaul and celebrated American travel writer Paul Theroux. While the former will participate in a session titled, ‘The Writer and The World’ with Farrukh Dhondy, the latter will be addressing the audience at his session on ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’, alongside Hanif Kureishi and Amit Chaudhuri. Paul Theroux will also talk about crossing genres in his solo session, ‘My Other Life: A Novelist’s Affair with Nonfiction’.

Following on from the current debate surrounding women safety issues, a session titled ‘A Revolution is Brewing’ by Sangeeta Bandopadhyay, C Mrunalini, Sukrita Paul Kumar and Malashri Lal will take centre stage at the festival. In addition, to mark three decades of an unfulfilled resolution to the Bhopal gas tragedy, there will be a session by Javier Moro, Salil Tripathi and John Elliott on the ‘Toxic Legacy’.

Cinematic immortality and the changing face of Indian cinema will be under spotlight this year. While Naseeruddin Shah will be discussing his autobiography, And then one day, with acclaimed actor and playwright Girish Karnad, Bollywood veteran Waheeda Rehman will be seen in conversation with her biographer and film historian Nasreen Munni Kabir and writer and mythologist Arshia Sattar. Along with discussion on Rehman’s landmark films and roles, she will also share her views on the changing face of Indian cinema.

This year’s theme is ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’. Hanif Kureishi, Deepti Kapoor, Sarah Waters and Nicholson Baker will be seen in conversation with Parul Sehgal, unfolding the seven sins of Christianity at a session titled ‘Basic Instinct’.

The literary festival will exhibit the work of the Ojas Art Award winners, announce the winners of the inaugural Kushwant Singh Memorial Prize and launch books by Javed Akhtar, Abhay K, Vishvjit Prithvijit Singh, Anupama Chopra and Mukul Deva. The latest edition of the Limca Book of Records will also launch at the Festival, as will the Masterchef India Cookbook by Vikas Khanna.

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