Renowned Jaipur Literature Festival Opens in New York Sept. 17

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Courtesy: JLF NYC

Teamwork Arts, which produces one of the world’s largest literary gatherings, the annual Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, heads across the Atlantic this September, to present three international JLF festivals in New York City, Houston and Boulder in the US.

The lineup includes an array of provocative panels and debates to discuss the issues that shape ideas and perspectives, and is held being in partnership with Asia Society, the second time that this American educational organization is hosting it in New York City.

The Big Apple segment, JLF New York, will take place on Sept. 17 and 18, and opens with a reception on the evening of the 17th, held in partnership with DAG a leading gallery dedicated to Modern Indian Art in NYC.

The program and panels will take place at Asia Society on September 18th from 1pm – 7pm, and includes a panel presented by Columbia University.

“The JLF in the U.S. is an important forum to share ideas and creativity. It is this spirit of exchange and participation that draws our two organizations together in a forum that crosses borders and presents multiple perspectives of some of the most cutting edges thinkers of our time.” Rachel Cooper, Asia Society director of Global Performing Arts and Cultural Initiatives, is quoted saying in the press release.

The core idea behind the festival is a celebration of diversity, sharing South Asia’s unique literary heritage while fusing it with narratives that matter locally, and being, most importantly, platforms to share each other’s stories, organizers said.

This year’s New York edition celebrates books, ideas, and dialogue.

“It will present a rich showcase of South Asia’s literary and oral heritage, with internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers taking part in a range of panels and debates about ideas and issues that resonate with our times,” the press release said.

The wide range of subjects in the program is evident from some of the books being features — William Dalrymple’s latest book, The Anarchy (Bloomsbury Publishing), on the rise and significance of the East India Company; Manisha Koirala whose latest memoir recounts her battle with cancer; Margo Jefferson speaking on Caste, Color and Gender; Priyamvada Natarajan talking about her book Mapping the Heavens, with insights into the nature of our universe; Food, Memory and Culture featuring Adam Platt, contributing editor and restaurant critic for New York magazine; and Columbia University’s session These Lands We Call Home, where a panel of writers and thinkers examines the current age of immigrants and global movement, as more and more people claim a multiplicity of coexisting identities.

Other confirmed participants include: Yashica Dutt, Chandrahas Choudhury, Neeraj Kaushal, Ligaya Mishan, Krishnendu Ray, and Sharmila Sen.

There will be a special musical performance by Utsav Lal, Roopa Mahadevan and Jake Charkey at noon.

JLF New York is one of three JLF festivals in the U.S. which also includes JLF Houston at Asia Society Texas Center on September 13-14, and ZEE JLF Colorado at the Boulder Public Library on September 20-22.

Other international JLF editions include: ZEE JLF at the British Library, JLF Adelaide and for the first time in 2019, JLF Belfast and JLF Toronto.

For program schedule and to purchase tickets visit: https://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/jlf-new-york-0

The Jaipur Literature Festival is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth,” and the past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon, having hosted nearly 2,000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe, the press release said.

“Our core values remain unchanged: to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access,” organizers say.

Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producers Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day program held in India, at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur.

Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, and Muhammad Yunus, Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood, and Paul Beatty, Sahitya Akademi winners Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, and 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 Jaipur Literature Festival has also hosted Nobel Laureate for Economics, Amartya Sen, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, the late President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty, and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

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