We are mighty excited about the upcoming Jaipur Literature Festival and now, we also know what is going to happen {at least 13 talks, for now}. This is fodder for your literary wanderlust.

Ballad of Bant Singh

Bant Singh and Desraj Kali in conversation with Nirupama Dutt

The tragic and inspiring story of Bant Singh’s resistance to the atrocities he suffered as a Dalit Indian is a story of empowerment. In a session of music, poetry and social interrogation, journalist and writer Nirupama Dutt, activist and writer Bant Singh, and poet and journalist, Desraj Kali, will speak of the ‘Ballad of Bant Singh.’

Scenes from a Writer’s Life

ruskinbondImage courtesy: Nazia Fatma

Ruskin Bond in conversation with Ravi Singh

India’s most beloved and prolific storyteller will talk about his incredible journey as a writer who has penned over a hundred published books since the 1950s. He will share his vision of the joy, spontaneity and clarity he brings to his life through writing.

 Bilingualities: Writing in Tongues

waheriImage courtesy: Internaz

Yoko Tawada, Cornelia Funke, Abdourahman Waberi and Ira Pande in conversation with Mohini Gupta

Writing across a spectrum of languages–Japanese, German, French, Flemish, English and Hindi, this session is a must-attend, if only for the astonishing talent of bilingual writers, who negotiate different languages and cultures with accomplished ease.


debra-magpie-earlingImage courtesy: Dave Hucker, Mollie McClure

Debra Magpie Earling, Hariram Meena and Ruby Hembrom, introduced by Peter Anderson

Native American traditions and the ancient tribal, adivasi and santhali legacies are divided by geography, yet share a history of brutal and insensitive marginalisation of cultural voices. The session will lend voice to the same through the interacting authors.

The Poet and Privacy: Kavya aur Nijita

udayprakashImage courtesy: Uday Prakash

Uday Prakash and Ravi Kant in conversation with Anu Singh Choudhary

In a session that examines the idea of social, intellectual and personal privacy, Hindi journalist, poet and novelist Uday Prakash’s biting satire takes on the cruel contours of a post-globalised world where caste and class injustices continue their assault through identity theft and the utter betrayal of human hope.

Saraswati Chandra

sitanshu-yashaschandraTridip Suhrud and Sitanshu Yashaschandra in conversation with Salil Tripathi

Saraswatichandra, a classic, four-part Gujarati novel by Govardhan Madhavram Tripathi, documents a changing society while retaining a love story at its core and essence. The director of the Sabarmati Ashram, scholar and translator, Tridip Suhrud has been working on the translations of the four volumes. Sitanshu Yashaschandra and Salil Tripathi, a descendant of Govardhan Ram Tripathi, discuss the magnificent scope and enduring relevance of this seminal Gujarati novel.

A Brief History of Seven Killings


Image courtesy: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Marlon James in conversation with Patrick French

Man Booker Prize 2015 winner, A Brief History of Seven Killings, draws on the true story of the attempt on Bob Marley’s life, while exploring several decades of Jamaican history, gang warfare and politics through multiple narrators, set across three decades. In conversation with historian and biographer Patrick French, author Marlon James discusses his Caribbean roots, the sources of his creative energy and the new generation of Caribbean writers that are making their mark.

The Fry Chronicles 

stephenfryStephen Fry moderated by Anindita Ghose

When Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge, he was a convicted thief, an addict to tried to commit suicide, and was convinced that he would be expelled. Instead, university life offered him love and the chance to entertain. Fry will talk about his life and work in conversation with Vogue India’s Anindita Ghose, as he tells the hilarious and compelling story of how he took his first steps in the worlds of theatre, radio, television, and film.


CHELTENHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 16: Niall Ferguson ,historian and author, poses for a portrait at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 16, 2010 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Niall FergusonImage courtesy: David Levenson

Niall Ferguson introduced by Swapan Dasgupta

Niall Ferguson talks about his new biography, the first of two volumes, in which he has created an extraordinary panorama of Henry Kissinger’s world, and a paradigm-shifting reappraisal of the man. He argues that only through knowledge of Kissinger’s early life—as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI, an interrogator, a student of history at Harvard—can we understand Kissinger’s debt to the philosophy of idealism, and his contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence.

Beyond the Afghan Girl

stevemccurrySteve McCurry in conversation with Dexter Filkins

Steve McCurry’s career was launched when, disguised as a Pathan, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled areas of Afghanistan, just before the Soviet invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes. Those images were among the first to show the conflict. McCurry focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face.


robertocalassoImage courtesy: Intelart

Roberto Calasso in conversation with Vidya Dehejia

With his signature erudition and profound sense of the past, Calasso talks to Vidya Dehejia about the enigmatic web of ritual and myth that defines the Vedas. Often at odds with modern thought, these texts illuminate the nature of consciousness more vividly than anything else has managed to till now. Ardor indicates that it may be possible to reach what is closest by passing through that which is most remote, as “the whole of Vedic India was an attempt to think further.”


thomaspikettyImage courtesy: Charles Platiau

Thomas Piketty with Sebastian Mallaby, Arvind Subramanian and Niall Ferguson, moderated by Pratap Bhanu Mehta

In his ground-breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyses a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the 18th century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. Here he discusses his theories with fellow economic historians and writers on finance, Sebastian Mallaby, Arvind Subramanian and Niall Ferguson.

The Heart Goes Last   

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 7 - Author Margaret Atwood talk about her new book Madd Addam. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)Image courtesy: Bernard Weil/Toronto Star

Margaret Atwood in conversation with Parul Sehgal

Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award several times, winning twice. Here, she talks about her life and work in conversation with Parul Sehgal.

When: 21 – 25 January

Where: Jaipur Literature Festival, Diggi House, Shivaji Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur

Contact: +91 9643302036, +91 9643302037, +91 9643302038, +91 9643302039

Check out their website here. Follow their Facebook page here. 

Feature image courtesy: Holly S. Warah