Jaipur: Hailed as the 'greatest literary show on Earth' and the ‘Kumbh of Literature’, the 14th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 gets underway from Friday in its new virtual avatar.
The inaugural keynote address will be delivered by renowned author Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group and Dr Tilly Blyth, Head of Collections and Principal Curator, Science Museum, London.
The Festival will be held from February 19 to 28 and will feature over 300 speakers and performers representing around 25 Indian and 18 international languages and over 23 nationalities as well as major literary awards ranging from the Nobel, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, the Sahitya Akademi, DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, JCB Prize for Literature.
Speakers at the Festival this year include American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates; American economist, public policy analyst and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz; Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai; Man Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart; journalist and Pulitzer awardee Jeffrey Gettleman, to name a few.
Author and Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said, “The virtual edition of Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 is an absorbing immersive experience where we encounter an outstanding roster of great writers from around the world. The challenges and disruptions of 2020 have transformed into the triumphs of 2021.”
Author and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said,” Despite pandemic and political upheavals around the world, the Jaipur Literature Festival continues to spread its wings and has transformed itself into one of the world's most popular online spaces for profound discussions about books and writing.”
In a special session titled ‘The Connections and Disconnections Between India and China’, in conversation with author and Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple, Director of the Center for Global Asia and Professor of History, NYU Shanghai, Tansen Sen will set out on a singular mission: to fill the gaps in the narratives tying the regions, breaking through traditional conceptions of understanding India-China connections and proposing new ways to explore historical and contemporary relations.
In another session, celebrated director and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi will take the audience on an extravagant journey through the life, mind, method, and madness of perhaps one of the greatest filmmakers Bollywood has seen today.
National Film Award-winning actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas will launch her book 'Unfinished' which follows her journey through life and cinema. In conversation with author and columnist Shobhaa De, Chopra will explore her childhood in India, through her formative teenage years in the US, to her return to India where she won Miss India and Miss World beauty pageants that launched her acting career.
2021 is a huge sporting year with the postponed Olympics and Paralympics and the men’s World Cup scheduled back-to-back. From the recent evidence of the Australia series, it is clear that through sport, a new India is speaking out: an India that isn’t divided, that isn’t toxic and one that is secular and vibrant. A panel with some of India’s best athletes and para-athletes like Pullela Gopichand and Mansi Joshi will celebrate the spirit of a new India and look ahead at the huge year in prospect. They will be in conversation with renowned author and sports journalist Boria Majumdar who has documented their stories in his books on cricket and Olympic sport.
The Festival presents not just stimulating conversations on literature and the written and spoken word but also includes musical performances giving it a vivid cultural backdrop.