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Jaipur’s great feast of ideas

In January this year, I set off for Rajasthan, India, on a piece of work for one of the world’s largest literary events…

This year’s edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (produced by Teamwork Arts) ran across five packed days, bringing together some of the greatest ideas and debates in contemporary and historical literature. (You can read about it in a feature by Catharine Morris in this week’s issue of Times Literary Supplement.)

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Speakers at Jaipur this year included poet Ben Okri, feminist historian Mary Beard, race theorist Reni Eddo Lodge, film director Meghna Gulzar, artificial intelligence researcher Toby Walsh, contemporary artist Marc Quinn, novelists Yann Martel (Life of Pi) and Andre Aciman (Call Me by Your Name), and many, many more.

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In a couple of months, literature lovers in London can also look forward to getting a taste of the action, with ZEE JLF at The British Library taking place 14-16 June 2019. And it doesn’t stop there - Teamwork Arts has announced an expansion of their UK presence with a new festival in Belfast, taking place 21-23 June - read about it in The Bookseller.

Both London and Belfast are part of the festival’s wide global reach, which also includes New York, Boulder, Houston, Adelaide and Toronto.

This year’s London edition brings together over 60 speakers from a range of disciplines, genres and cultures, including director of the V&A and former Labour MP Tristram Hunt, Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, Indian diplomat Navdeep Suri, queer theorist and historian Madhavi Menon, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, and British-French journalist Ben Judah.

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The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in India is a global literary phenomenon, having hosted more than 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million book lovers from across the globe over the past decade. In London, ZEE JLF at The British Library brings the same universal, democratic and inclusive core values of the Festival to the UK.

Visit jaipurliteraturefestival.org for more info.