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The 10th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will celebrate 70 years of Indian democracy with a strong focus on the theme 'The Freedom to Dream: India at 70', organisers announced today.
Touted as the world's largest free literary event, the 5-day-long festival will be held from January 19 - 23, at the the Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.
The 10th edition that will drive conversations around modern India in the context of its history and future, will see over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians and popular culture icons, with a special focus on world literatures, according to the organisers.
"In 2017, there will be a special focus on translations and the pulse of world literatures. Ceaselessly celebrating the wonders of the dreaming mind, the Jaipur Literature Festival invokes the collective energy of our brilliant authors and extraordinary and engaged audiences," says Namita Gokhale, co-director of JLF.
The festival will witness interactive sessions by speakers from all corners of the world including Jamaica, North Korea, Tasmania and Zimbabwe among others.
"Each year at Jaipur we try to produce a programme more remarkable than the year before, but 2017's Jaipur list is certainly the most astonishing we have ever fielded," says William Dalrymple, co-director of JLF.
A diverse lineup of writers including war correspondent Dexter Filkins, economist Ha Joon Chang and Italian aesthete, Sanskritist and polymath Roberto Calasso has been curated.
"We deeply delve into areas of world literature we have so far failed to explore, notably the novelists and poets of the Caribbean, Turkey and Iran, while returning to examine eternal classics such as the work of Homer, Ferdowsi, Yeats, Nabakov and the Thousand and One Nights," says Dalrymple.
Internationally acclaimed playwrights and novelists, including Mark Haddon, David Hare and Man Booker Prize winners Alan Hollinghurst and Richard Flanagan as well as archaeologist, Barry Cunliffe will be a part of the event.
A vast range of subjects from the history of scent to the rise of the Trilobites; biography from Jack the Ripper to Queen Victoria via Napoleon and Anne Boleyn; tales of the spice trade to the eruption of Krakatoa, will also be explored. "We look at Jamaican rap and medieval mystic poetry and the art of screenwriting; we probe the reason for the Fall of Rome, the dilemmas facing Edward Snowden, KGB assassination techniques and the secrets of the Panama Papers; the agonies of Syria and the pleasures of Ottoman Istanbul as well as enjoying the decadent swagger of the Rolling Stones 1970 World Tour," says the Scottish historian. To celebrate its 10 years, JLF has decided to announce 10 speakers set to appear at the festival every week over the period of 10 weeks every Tuesday starting today. While the festival continues to remain free, the organisers have introduced enhanced packages for those who wish to support and experience the festival, in a Delegate lounge.
Live music concerts and festival fringe events can be enjoyed as as part of the package. "The core values of it remain the same, to bring the very best writers from across India and the world, and make the opportunity to join this celebration of literature open to all. With the help of our sponsors and supporters we can continue to offer this opportunity to everybody," says Sanjoy K Roy, producer of JLF. The fourth edition of Jaipur Book Mark, will run parallel to the main event, with a continued focus on the art of translation as well as providing a platform for publishers, literary agents, translation agencies and writers to meet. Over 25 languages represented in works spanning the country's literary landscape as well as international translations will be showcased to preserve and promote the diverse range of life, culture and stories. For the first time, JBM will also invite budding authors to share a synopsis of their works, which will be assessed by a panel of literary agents, publishers and critics. "Those shortlisted will be invited to take part in the New Writers' Mentorship Programme, a special one-on-one session for advice from industry experts," organisers said.