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Dazzling line-up of writers for Jaipur Literature Festival

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New Delhi: The first list of dignitaries who are slated to attend the ninth edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival promises to wow the audience. Some of the legends to attend are poet, novelist and literary critic Margaret Atwood and lord of the lens’ Steve McCurry.

The five day extravaganza, to be held at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur from January 21, will have 165 top notch Indian and international authors to set the intellect ticking.

Those participating also include India’s own prolific writer Ruskin Bond, controversial Harvard historian Niall Ferguson and English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist Stephen Fry, who is considered Britain’s national treasure.

French economist and global voice on wealth and income inequality Thomas Piketty, Bosnian American fiction writer Aleksandar Hemon and Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman are some of the other star attractions.

Some of the Indian authors who are set to take centre stage are author-turned- psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar, Hindi poet and author Uday Prakash, Sahitya Akademi awardees Rita Chowdhury and Dhrubajyoti Bora as well as prominent Gujarati poet and scholar Sitanshu Yashaschandra.

The festival will explore issues such as migration, privacy and navigating change, according to Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

“The JLF is propelled by ideas and the excitement of real time conversations. We bring together the finest minds from across the world and explore our changing times through sessions on economics, politics and the sciences. Yet we remain rooted in local culture and language, and our literary perspective is always from the grassroots upwards,” said Gokhale.

The organisers said that Homi Bhabha from the Mahindra Humanities Centre will curate a session around the theme of privacy.

Those set to participate in the discussion are British author and columnist Ben Macintyre, American reporter Dexter Filkins, English foreign correspondent Christina Lamb and CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen.

Some of the other Indian writers who will participate include Mridula Sinha, Alka Saraogi, Ashok Vajpeyi, Yatindra Mishra, Prabhat Ranjan, Harish Trivedi and Mridul Kirti, Anita Agnihotri in Bangla, Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Ila Arab Mehta and Madhav Hada.

“Each year at Jaipur, we try to produce a programme more remarkable than the year before, but this year has to be our most astonishing line up ever. It’s going to be an incredible few days and I can’t wait for January so that we can get started”, said William Dalrymple, writer and co-director of the JLF.

(IANS)

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The 8th Edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan to Showcase Unexplored Landscapes, History and Literature

The festival will take place from August 25 to 27, with a special inaugural ceremony on Thursday evening in Thimphu

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Literary Festival, Trongsa Dzong
Trongsa Dzong architechture in Bhutan. Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan to have Unexplored Landscapes, History and Literature. Wikimedia
  • The festival promises to be a walk along unexplored landscapes and breathtaking beauty
  • Festival visitors will have an opportunity to indulge in activities that are close to nature
  • This extraordinary advantage of the lit fest comes along with a stellar line-up of writers, artists, and performers

Thimphu, August 24, 2017: Literature festivals are quite the trend these days, but this one comes with an added attraction of the surreal beauty that the Land of the Thunder Dragon is known for. Literary stalwarts have already begun descending on Bhutan’s picturesque capital for the eighth edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, but visitors will have much more than just literature to savor.

The festival promises to be a walk along unexplored landscapes and breathtaking beauty, as well as dzongs and monasteries steeped in history. With a legacy of culture, tradition and natural beauty like few others, festival visitors will have an opportunity to indulge in activities that are close to nature.

From a visit to the 15th century Punakha Dzong, that translates into the Palace of Great Happiness, to a trek along the Dochula pass at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, there are a lot of thrills in the itinerary of visitors.

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This extraordinary advantage of the lit fest comes along with a stellar line-up of writers, artists, and performers who will enthrall the visitors. While lit fest regulars like Shashi Tharoor, Namita Gokhale, and Ruskin Bond will share their stories with book lovers, there are quite a few offbeat names like Markus Zusak, Padma Lakshmi, Pranay Lal, Francesca Beard and Phuntsho Namgyel that visitors may also look forward to for some interesting discussions.

Fashion is also one of the key themes this year as the festival aims to weave the traditional textile heritage of Bhutan and India with contemporary fashion and build a common thread between the two countries and their shared cultures.

The festival will be held from August 25 to 27, with a special inaugural ceremony on Thursday evening in Thimphu.

(Saket Suman’s visit to Thimphu is at the invitation of the organizers of the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival) (IANS)