Glittering line-up of authors for Jaipur Literary Festival

December 2nd, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Bookworms can look forward to a carnival in January when Jaipur will play host to a galaxy of authors like Vikram Seth, Chetan Bhagat, Hari Kunzru, Micheal Ondaatje, Pico Iyer and Patrick French during the fourth edition of the Jaipur Literary Festival. One of the most colourful events in the city’s social calendar, the festival will be held Jan 21-25 at the Diggy Palace.

The Jaipur Literary Festival this time has expanded its spread to include arts, cinema, music, auctions and multi-discipline workshops like a novel literary lunch prepared by celebrity chef-cum-author Manju Mahi, who will rustle up a creative menu to the music of James Asher Jan 22-24.

“The spotlight in 2009 will be on oral tradition of story telling, vernacular literature and literary traditions like collaborative poetry and creative writing between Indian and Welsh poets and writers,” Jaipur Literary Festival director Namita Gokhale told IANS.

The India-Welsh joint literary session will be held a few days before the festival.

Vayu Naidu from Britain will tell stories - in the ancient Indian tradition of story-telling. Bulk of the traditional Indian literature is oral - especially in the regions and provinces where story-tellers handed tales and lores down the generations by word of mouth.

The story-telling sessions will also see “jugalbandi” or duets by Chhattisgarh-based folk performer Teejan Bai and South Africa-based Gcina Mschlope, who will recount mythology and popular tales on the stage with theatrical expositions.

“There will be lot of memoirs, voices and songs,” Namita Gokhale said.

An open-air midnight “Baul Sammelan” featuring the wandering minstrels of Bengal and France will give the festival a special flair, organisers said.

Mumbai-based art auctioneer Osian’s Connoisseur of Art will host an auction of art memorabilia. The art section will also include exhibitions of paintings by Suhasini Kejriwal, traditional Meena wall art and aboriginal art from Australia.

The star-studded battery of authors will feature prominent names like Chetan Bhagat, Hari Kunzru, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick French, Ashis Nandy, Steve Coll, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Vikram Seth.

“This year, the thrust will be on contemporary American literature. Writers from the US and our country can exchange ideas and readers can get an idea about the latest in American writing,” producer of the festival Sanjoy Roy told IANS.

The music section will include live performances by bands from Pakistan and the Maldives, while the highlight of the film section will be a special screening of “Slumdog Millionaire”, Roy said.

According to Namita Gokhale, the focus will also be on workshops and social issues like violence in society.

The Tehelka Foundation will organise creative workshops for young people Jan 21-24.

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