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6 Sessions to Look Out for at JLF ’17

It’s that time of the year!
10 years since the first JLF, the Festival has grown into the world’s largest free event of its kind. Having hosted 1300 speakers and welcomed nearly 1.2 million book lovers, its success has been astonishing and heartwarming.
Some of the biggest Penguin authors have rocked the stage at JLF and this year promises to be even better. From commercial superstars to critical bigwigs, this year we are getting the crème de la crème from our author roster.
Here are a few of the sessions you’ll not want to miss at the Festival.
Gulzar
Gulzar and Pavan K. Varma in conversation
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People usually run out of superlatives when talking about the evergreen Gulzar. One of the greatest artists to ever grace the JLF, Gulzar Sahib’s session, along with Pavan K. Varma, will be on his latest work – Suspected Poems. You’ll not want to miss his musings on poetry, literature and the state of the world.
Tabish Khair
Manju Kapur and Tabish Khair in conversation with Ashok Ferrey
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Currently teaching English at Aarhus University in Denmark, Tabish Khair was born and educated in Bihar. At the session, the former journalist will be talking to Ashok Ferrey about the context and inspiration for his works. He will also talk about his book Jihadi Jane, a powerful novel about two Muslim girls who decide to join ISIS.
You can also catch him at the Festival along with Saeed Naqvi, Qaisra Shahraz, Sadia Dehlvi and Ornit Shani as they talk of the conflicts and polarities of being an Indian Muslim in an increasingly divided world.
Ashok Ferrey
Ashok Ferrey, Kyoko Yoshida and Marina Perezagua in conversation with Sunil Sethi
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Ashok Ferrey will be in conversation with Sunil Sethi on the pursuit of fiction that involves a leap of faith between material and literary reality. He will be joined by other notable contemporary writers as they also discuss how writers enter and access fictional journey. The bestselling Sri Lankan author will also explore the devil within as he discusses his latest book The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons.
From talking about the thin red line between a person’s beliefs and politics with Tabish Khair to joining Ashwin Sanghi on his talk about the art of writing thrillers, Ashok Ferrey will also be at various other sessions with other authors.
Ravinder Singh
Ira Trivedi and Ravinder Singh in conversation with Lucy Beresford
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Romantic fiction reaches out across time and history to every successive generation with tales of love. The King of Romance, Ravinder Singh’s session is about love in contemporary India. The author who is known for writing from the heart, about the heart will speak about the psychology and the changing mores of love in our times.
Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik introduced by Amrita Tripathi
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Ancient Greece and India have both bequeathed a lasting body of myth to the world. In his latest work Olympus, Devdutt Pattanaik attempts to understand how an Indian reader raised on a steady diet of local myths and legends might respond to classical Greek mythology. By reversing the gaze, he explores the fascinating connections between these stories and sagas. At the Festival, Pattanaik will talk about both the mythologies and their lasting legacy.
Devdutt Pattanaik will have two more sessions at JLF – on the history and legacy of the Vedas and on his book The Girl Who Chose.
Arshia Sattar
Arshia Sattar and Volga in conversation with Vayu Naidu
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A symbol of chastity and loyalty, the goddess Sita has evolved into a feminist icon for her silent strength and endurance. In her session, Arshia Sattar will talk about her highly acclaimed translation of the ‘Uttara Kanda’. She will talk about the sacrifice, choice and the complex moral universe of the Ramayana.
Arshia Sattar will also be in various other sessions at the Festival discussing atheism in the ancient world to understanding the brilliant A.K. Ramanujan.

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The themes of equity and democracy run through the Festival’s veins bringing humanitarians, historians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers together on stage. Access to these renowned thinkers along with some of the finest writers in the world provides a potentially life-changing opportunity to visitors.
We hope to see you at Jaipur!

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Flashback 2016: 5 Kickass Moments from JLF ’16

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One of the most iconic literary festivals in the country kicked off today with a mesmerising keynote address by Gulzar. There are fascinating sessions lined up at the event, and the atmosphere is filled with energy as readers and writers from across regions gather to celebrate love for and of books.
As we gear up for the talks and discussions that are in the offing, we look back at last year’s edition, and we bring to you five bright moments that will make you want to attend the festival this year!
When Margaret Atwood talked about ‘The Global Novel’
Chiki Sarkar started the session by asking the authors – Colm Toibin, Aleksander Hemon, David Grossman, Sulaiman Addonia, Sunjeev Sahota, and of course Atwood – when and how did the novel form become the popular form of literature?
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Gulzar’s talk broke records – literally!
Looking back fondly in a self-confessed nostalgia towards the world around him, the great poet moved the audience with prose after prose. The audience was so involved that neither the chatter of young children nor the constant trickle of people at the outskirts of the arena could distract a soul.
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“What makes South Asians laugh?”
In a roller-coaster ride full of laughter and comic relief, Sidin Vadukut, Meera Syal and Suhel Seth took us back to an innocent age – an age where the word ‘tension’ was not part of our vocabulary, an age where we could just enjoy wit without worrying about its ramifications.
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Eating Books – A Cosmopolitan Cuisine: Anjum Hasan and Nilanjana Roy in conversation with Jerry Pinto
The talk revolved around what it means to write about literature and who are writers and what they are writing about today.
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On the British Empire: Tristram Hunt and Shashi Tharoor, moderated by Swapan Dasgupta
The session started off with a definition of imperialism and moved on to its growth with differing opinions on it. Shashi Tharoor was at his delightful best!
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Incarnations, Reincarnations: Sunil Khilnani in conversation with William Dalrymple
The session, headed by Sunil Khilnani and William Dalrymple, was about Khilnani’s book ‘Incarnations: India in 50 Lives’. The landmark book puts together the stories of some of the most iconic Indians who made a difference.
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We hope these stories from JLF ’16 motivated you to head out and attend JLF ’17. See you there!

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