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Jaipur Literature Festival 2016: What we are looking forward to this year

Shomini Sen | News18.com shominisen

First published: January 19, 2016, 12:07 PM IST | Updated: January 19, 2016
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It is that time of the year, when some of the most popular names in literary world will be hob knobbing with book lovers from across the country at the regal Diggi Palace in Jaipur. The 9th edition of Zee Jaipur Literature Festival is about to begin and book lovers are eagerly waiting to witness fit days full of anecdotes, discussions, analysis and new books.

Every year JLF manages to accumulate some of the best writes, thinkers and journalists under one roof to interact with fans, discuss ideas, comment on raging issues and much more. This year is going to be no less- with big names from the literary world as well as cinema taking center stage- JLF 2016 is the perfect way to spend your long winter weekend.

Here are the things that we are looking forward to at the festival.

Ruskin Bond, Stephen Fry and Margaret Atwood to take center stage: Every child in urban India has grown up reading stories written by Ruskin Bond. The much loved author, who usually stays away from the media glare, will be speaking on the first day of the festival. We are also very excited to hear the nulti talented Stephen Fry. With an incredible wit and razor sharp lines, Fry has created a cult following for himself over the years. There is also veteran poet from Canada, Margaret Atwood who will be be in conversation with Parul Sehgal and will speak about work and her life.

Focus on translation and writings in regional language: India is not only about English writing and this year, the festival will focus on writings in regional languages and how translation is an important bridge. Uday Prakash and one of the leading figures in modern Indian literature, journalist Uday Prakash will be speaking at the festival and so will Alka Saraogi who is known for her short stories.

The Bollywood Connect: From lyricist Gulzar and Javed Akhtar to Shobhaa De And Roniee Screwwala, all will be speaking at this year’s festival. Filmmaker Karan Johar will be conversation with his biographer Poonam Saxena as they launch the director’s biography ‘An Unsuitable Boy’. We are expecting to see a huge turnout during the session with transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and R. Raj Rao along with Jerry Pinto when they launch Tripathi’s new book.

Music: Every year, the front lawns of Diggi Palace light up as folk, sufi and classical musicians open the festival in their melodious style. Opening the festival will be local Rajasthani musicians Nathoo Solanki and Chugge Khan this year. They will be joined on stage by Gaayatri Kaundinya, a Hindustani classical vocalist of the Baba Allauddin Maihar Senia Gharana. The evening sessions will be kickstarted by Medieval Pandits and Karsh Kale Collective. India’s top fusion band, Swarathma, would be closing the festival on Sunday evening.

Beyond the portrait of the Afghan Girl: Award winning photographer Steve McCurry will be in conversation with Dexter Fillis. McCurry is known for capturing the iconic picture of an Afghan girl in 1984 during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. McCurry is expected to share anecdotes of how he captured the iconic image dressed in disguise and what it takes to be capturing the human side of a war.

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