10 authors we are looking forward to at Jaipur Literature Festival 2018

Touted as the ‘Kumbh Mela of literature’ fests, Jaipur Literature Festival is once again set to host the biggest names in the world of literature and publishing.

books Updated: Dec 05, 2017 09:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Jaipur Literature Festival 2018,JLF2018 speakers,Akhil Sharma
The Jaipur Literature Festival has released the first list of 60 speakers (out of total 250) for its 11th edition, which will take place from 25 to 29 January 2018 at the Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.(Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

The Jaipur Literature Festival has released the first list of 60 speakers for its 11th edition, which will take place from 25 to 29 January 2018 at the Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur. Touted as the ‘Kumbh Mela of literature’ fests, the event once again is set to host the biggest names in the world of literature and publishing. Here are 10 authors we are looking forward to seeing at JLF 2018:

Akhil Sharma

Though Sharma’s first book An Obedient Father won the 2001 PEN/Hemingway Award, it was his second, award-winning semi-autobiographical novel, Family Life, about an Indian immigrant family in the US, which cemented his position as a formidable new voice in Indian English writing. His collection of short stories, released in July this year, once again proved his literary genius.

Rupi Kaur

The 25-year-old Canadian Insta-poet and performer is known for her simple, bite-sized yet hard-hitting verses that touch upon the themes of love, loss, violence and feminism. Her, initially self-published, first book Milk and Honey has sold over a million copies to-date, staying put on the NYT bestseller list for most of 2016. Her second book The Sun and Her Flowers came out in September 2017. Kaur’s stand against Instagram’s removal of her menstruating picture (part of a university project) is a significant milestone in menstrual activism.

Sujatha Gidla

New York-based Gidla’s memoir of caste discrimination is among the most talked about books of 2017. In Ants Among Elephants, which will be available in India in December, Gidla recounts her memories of growing up as a Dalit in India, listing the humiliation and oppression that was part of daily life. A software design developer who moved to the banking sector only to lose her job during the economic crisis of 2008, Gidla presently works as conductor at the New York Subway.

(From left) Amy Tan, Tom Stoppard, Akhil Sharma and Rupi Kaur.

Tom Stoppard

Sir Tom Stoppard, the Czech-born British playwright, is often described as Britain’s greatest living dramatist. The 80-year-old playwright, who recently received the David Cohen Prize for lifetime achievement in literature, has written prolifically for the stage, film and TV in a career spread over six decades. “Donald Trump, Brexit, climate change, and the rise of artificial intelligence and social media caused a headache when it came to putting pen to paper,” Stoppard recently told ITV news. He is clearly someone who has a lot to say and a speaker to look forward to.

Helen Fielding

This has to be a coup of sorts. Not only is Fielding the inventor of chicklit and the creator of the hugely popular Bridget Jones series, she is also known to be a private person who avoids the limelight. Fielding’s last outing in the beloved series was Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries (2016).

Michael Ondaatje

A literary giant in Canadian writing, Sri Lankan-born Michael Ondaatje is probably best known internationally for his best-selling novel The English Patient (1992), which was adapted into a film in 1996. Ondaatje started his career in 1967 with poetry, moving onto fiction and nonfiction. Ondaatje was critical of the magazine Charlie Hebdo’s anti-Islam provocations and (while he condemned the attack on the magazine), he was among the several members of PEN American Center who withdrew as literary host when PEN gave its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to Charlie Hebdo.

B. N. Goswamy

Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, B. N. Goswamy is an authority on Indian art and art history. His book, Manaku of Guler, wherein he reconstructs the life of the great Indian artist Manaku, was published in September this year.

Amy Tan
Amy Tan is a Chinese-American writer, best known for The Joy Luck Club, which was also adapted for the screen in 1993. Her novels explore issues of cultural identity, familial ties and multiculturalism. She published a series of autobiographical essays, Where the Past Begins, on her roots and writing life in September 2017.

Peter Bos
A portrait photographer from The Netherlands, Peter Bos has travelled across the world chronicling different cultures, societies and people. His stunning images of the Konyaks – a once head-hunting tribe of Nagaland known for their body tattoos – are part of Phejin Konyak’s The Konyaks Last of the Tattooed Headhunters, which was released last month.

Pico Iyer
British-Indian essayist and novelist Pico Iyer is best known for his travel writing. A much sought-after speaker at literary festivals and TED talks, Iyer, who has travelled widely across the world, has several notable works of nonfiction to his credit. His 2014 work, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere looked at the necessity of staying still in an exhaustingly connected and fast-moving world.

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First Published: Dec 05, 2017 09:11 IST