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ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival launches in the nation’s capital

– Final line up of 234 speakers and 117 musicians revealed at exclusive curtain-raiser at Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi  –

– Jung Chang, A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Naseeruddin Shah announced as speakers –

– Guest including Shashi Tharoor, Navtej Sarna, Anuja Chauhan and Urvashi Butalia debated the future of non-fiction writing in India –

New Delhi, December 16 2014: The annual countdown to the world’s largest free literary festival officially began tonight as the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival brought its infectious energy and unrivalled magic to the nation’s capital.

At a highly-anticipated event packed with publishers, authors, media and the literati at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, co-DirectorsWilliam Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale revealed the final line-up of authors, themes and sponsors that will participate in the annual carnival of the mind between 21-25 January 2015.

Jung Chang, whose memoir of growing up in Mao’s China, Wild Swans, which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide is confirmed to attend as well as British biographer and winner of last year’s Samuel Johnson Prize, Lucy-Hughes Hallett, who will discuss her book The Pike. Former President of India and distinguished scientist, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will also travel to Jaipur to share his vision for India, discussing the crucial issues the country faces with Festival audiences.

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah will bring a flavor of Bollywood to the Festival as he discusses his delightfully frank autobiography And Then One Day with actor and playwright Girish Karnad who will talk about his highly acclaimed play Boiled Beans on Toast. Vishal Bhardwaj will speak about the Shakespearean deconstructions in Indian reality present in his celebrated film Haider. Bhardwaj will discuss the anguish of Hamlet’s dilemma with scriptwriter Basharat Peer and renowned theatre director Tim Supple. The enduringly beautiful and incredibly gifted actor Waheeda Rehman, will look back at her extraordinary life and career with her biographer and film historian Nasreen Munni Kabir, whilst Prasoon Joshi will speak to poet and mythologist Yatindra Mishra about the Indian traditions of popular music and poetry.

The speakers announced tonight join Nobel laureate V.S.Naipaul, Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, renowned contemporary travel writer Paul Theroux, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri, acclaimed author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi and 228 other celebrated authors to complete the line up for next month’s festival. The festival will also celebrate and honour 50 years since the publication of “A House for Mr Biswas”, perhaps one of the best loved English novels ever. The sheer range and diversity of the programme is unprecedented with session on Lawrence of Arabia, tigers, Buddhism, detectives, pirates, aesthetics, science, bumble bees, statistics and the Simpsons all scheduled.

Fittingly, the curtain raiser, hosted by the producers of the festival, Teamwork Arts, featured a debate on the motion, ‘This house proposes the centre of literary action is moving from the novel to non-fiction’. Panelists including Shashi TharoorNavtej SarnaAnuja Chauhan and Urvashi Butalia debated the recent trends in publishing across South Asia, and argued why readers are increasinglyconsuming more and more non-fiction. The debate brought the audience in Delhi a little taste of Jaipur, with the event featuring the magical Rajasthani drumbeats from Chugge Khan and Nathoo Solanki.

Given the international demographic of both the Festival’s visitors and speakers, it is fitting that ZEE Entertainment have once again committed to supporting the Festival as title sponsor, fitting well with their vision, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (The World is My Family).

Other sponsors for 2015 include returning partners Google and The Glenlivet who will sponsor the Mughal Tent and Author’s Lounge respectively. This will be the fourth year of sponsorship for both partners, demonstrating their commitment to literature as well as the strong value brought by being associated with the world-leading Festival.  The Mahindra Humanities Centre also returns for a second year to support the sessions at the Durbar Hall. will be the Festival’s official book partner and the Festival’s official ticketing partner will once again be KyaZoonga. The sponsors are crucial in maintaining the Festival’s much lauded status as the world’s largestfree literary festival.

Namita Gokhale, author and co-Director, said, “The ZEE Jaipur Literature festival in its many avatars has been described variously as a literary Woodstock, a Sahityik Kumbh Mela, and a spreading Banyan tree, a Bargad Ka Ped with both aerial and earth roots. The last metaphor is particularly apt, keeping in mind the perhaps seventy book festivals that have taken root across South Asia, celebrating regional languages and writing, connecting with international writers, being both local and global, rooted and cosmopolitan. I am proud and delighted to bring all these writers together for our annual celebration of books and ideas, and look forward to welcoming our guests from across the globe.”

William Dalrymple, author and co-Director said, “We have two missions at Jaipur: to showcase Indian writing to the world and to bring the greatest writers in the world to India.  This year’s programme will achieve this better than ever and it looks like a particularly vintage year. We have sessions on writing criticism, art history, historical novels and memoir; we’ll take a fresh look at Homer and Marie Antoinette, detectives and spooks, aesthetics and erotics and everything in between. It’s going to be an utterly amazing few days.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, producer of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “Once again, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival has set the standard for world-class programming, reinforcing our position as the world’s largest free literary festival. We are grateful to all our partners, new and returning, who support the Festival and share our vision of giving a global platform to the best writing from India and the world. Without them we wouldn’t be able to make the Festival free and open to all.”

This year 234 speakers will participate in the Festival, and a further 117 musicians, speakers and artists, will take the number of Festival participants to 351. 

Roland Landers, Head Corporate Brand ZEE said, “Corporate Brand ZEE’s integration with ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival further signifies its identity as a global media conglomerate. Since its inception, ZEE has been the cultural ambassador of our nation to the rest of the world, and with ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival we further reinforce this key message of the brand. Corporate Brand ZEE has always been associated with knowledge based global intellectual properties, and our support to one of the world’s most prestigious literature festival for the second consecutive year, reinstates the same. This year, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival promises to offer some of the greatest thinkers and writers from across the World. Acclaimed as the largest free literary festival on earth, we at ZEE are all set to bring it to an all new level!” 

Satyajeet Krishnan, General Manager The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi said, “We are privileged to present an exclusive glimpse of the world-famous ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 in the capital city. It has been our constant endeavor at Taj Mahal, New Delhi to create meaningful experiences to our patrons. As purveyors of art, culture and heritage we are delighted to partner with Teamwork Arts, to offer a taste of the country’s most eagerly awaited literary festival.  With some of the finest literary minds coming together for this curtain raiser at The Taj Mahal Hotel, we are sure it will be a memorable evening with thought-provoking conversation and discussions.”

Registration for the Festival is FREE, open to all. All visitors must pre-register on the Festival’s website at


  1. Aakar Patel
  2. Abhay K
  3. Adam Johnson
  4. Adam LeBor
  5. Ahmed Rashid
  6. Aidan Singh Bhati
  7. Akash Kapur
  8. Akhil Sharma
  9. Alberto Manguel
  10. Alexander Kozlov
  11. Alexis Wright
  12. Ali Cobby Eckerman
  13. Alka Pande
  14. Amarinder Singh
  15. Ambika Dutt
  16. Amish Tripathi
  17. Amit Chaudhuri
  18. Amrita Tripathi
  19. Anandita Ghose
  20. Anatol Lieven
  21. Anchee Min
  22. Anita Anand
  23. Anshu Harsh
  24. Anu Singh Choudhary
  25. Anupama Chopra
  26. Anuradha SenGupta
  27. APJ Abdul Kalam
  28. Arjun Deo Charan
  29. Arshia Sattar
  30. Aruni Kashyap
  31. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
  32. Arvind Panagariya
  33. Ashok Ferrey
  34. Ashok Malik
  35. Ashok Vajpayei
  36. Ashwin Sanghi
  37. Avantika Sujan
  38. Barry Flood
  39. Basharat Peer
  40. Bettany Hughes
  41. Bhakti Mathur
  42. Bibek Debroy
  43. Bilal Tanweer
  44. BN Goswamy
  45. Brigid Keenan
  46. Burak Ackapar
  47. C. Mrunalini
  48. Caryl Ferey
  49. Cat Weatherill
  50. Chandrahas Choudhury
  51. Charles Glass
  52. Chetan Bhagat
  53. Chiki Sarkar
  54. Christina Lamb
  55. Christos Tsiolkas
  56. CP Deval
  57. CP Surendran
  58. Cyprian Broodbank
  59. Damon Galgut
  60. Daud Ali
  61. Dave Goulson
  62. Debra Diamond
  63. Deepti Kapoor
  64. Devdutt Pattanaik
  65. Eimear McBride
  66. Eleanor Catton
  67. Elizabeth Gilbert
  68. Ella Berthoud
  69. Esther David
  70. Fady Joudah
  71. Farrukh Dhondy
  72. Florence Noiville
  73. Gary Bass
  74. Gideon Levy
  75. Gilbert King
  76. Girish Karnad
  77. Gopal Prasad Mudgal
  78. Hakan Nesser
  79. Hanif Kureishi
  80. Hansda Sowvendar         Shekhar
  81. Hardeep Singh Puri
  82. Harish Bhat
  83. Helon Habila
  84. Hisham Matar
  85. Homi K.Bhabha
  86. Ibukun Olatunji
  87. Indrajit Hazra
  88. James Astill
  89. Jaspreet Kalra
  90. Javed Akhtar
  91. Jenny Uglow
  92. Jerry Brotton
  93. Jessie Childs
  94. Joanna Rakoff
  95. John Elliot
  96. John Napier
  97. Jonathan Beckman
  98. Jonathan Gil Harris
  99. Jonathan Shainin
  100. Jung Chang
  101. Jyotika Kumari Diggi
  102. Kai Bird
  103. Kalyan Ray
  104. Kamila Shamsie
  105. Kate Summerscale
  106. Kavita Singh
  107. Kedarnath Singh
  108. Keki Daruwallah
  109. Kevin Powers
  110. Kwasi Kwarteng
  111. L. Somi Roy
  112. Lata Sharma
  113. Lauren Child
  114. Llewelyn Morgan
  115. Lucy Hughes Hallet
  116. Ma Jian
  117. Madhu Trehan
  118. Mahua Maji
  119. Maithree Wickramsinghe
  120. Makarand Paranjape
  121. Malashri Lal
  122. Malchand Tiwari
  123. Malvika Singh
  124. Mamta Dalal Mangaldas
  125. Manasi Subramaniam
  126. Mandy Ord
  127. Maria Chaudhuri
  128. Mark Gevisser
  129. Meena Kandasamy
  130. Meru Gokhale
  131. Mihir Sharma
  132. Mira Jacob
  133. Molly Emma Aitken
  134. Monisha Rajesh
  135. Mridula Behari
  136. Mukul Deva
  137. Namita Gokhale
  138. Nand Bhardwaj
  139. Narayan Murthy
  140. Naresh Fernandes
  141. Naseeruddin Shah
  142. Nasreen Munni Kabir
  143. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  144. Navina Haidar
  145. Navtej Sarna
  146. Neel Mukherjee
  147. Neil Rennie
  148. Nicholson Baker
  149. Nils Nordberg
  150. Oleg Borushko
  151. Om Thanvi
  152. Pallava Bagla
  153. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
  154. Parul Sehgal
  155. Paul Theroux
  156. Payal Kapadia
  157. Peter Frankopan
  158. Pradyot Bikram Manikya               Deb Burman
  159. Pramod Kapoor
  160. Prashant Jha
  161. Prasoon Joshi
  162. Pushpesh Pant
  163. Raghu Karnad
  164. Rahul Jacob
  165. Raj Kamal Jha
  166. Rajdeep Sardesai
  167. Rajendra Singh Bharhath
  168. Rajiv Malhotra
  169. Rakhshanda Jalil
  170. Ram Kumar Singh
  171. Ramita Navai
  172. Ravish Kumar
  173. Razia Iqbal
  174. Rima Hooja
  175. Rohan Murthy
  176. Ruth Padel
  177. S. S. Nirupam
  178. S.R Faruqi
  179. Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi
  180. Sahar Delijani
  181. Saker Mistri
  182. Sakti Burman
  183. Salil Tripathi
  184. Salima Hashmi
  185. Sam Miller
  186. Samanth Subramanian
  187. Samit Basu
  188. Sandip Roy
  189. Sangeeta Bandopadhyay
  190. Sarah Waters
  191. Saryu Doshi
  192. Satti Khanna
  193. Satya Vrat Shastry
  194. Scott Anderson
  195. Shabana Azmi
  196. Shanti Raman
  197. Shashi Tharoor
  198. Sheldon Pollock
  199. Shobha Vishwanath
  200. Simon Armitage
  201. Simon Singh
  202. Soumya Bhattacharya
  203. Subhadra Menon
  204. Subhash Goel
  205. Sudha Murthy
  206. Suhasini Haider
  207. Suhel Seth
  208. Sukrita Paul Kumar
  209. Sushma Deshpande
  210. Sushma Singhvi
  211. Swapan Dasgupta
  212. Tanuja Desai Hidier
  213. Tarun Khanna
  214. Tim Supple
  215. Tishani Doshi
  216. Tom Holland
  217. Tshering Tashi
  218. Udayan Sharma
  219. Urmila Pawar
  220. Urvashi Butalia
  221. V S Naipaul
  222. Valmik Thapar
  223. Vedica Kant
  224. Vijay Seshadri
  225. Vinod Kumar Shukla
  226. Vishal Bhardwaj
  227. Vishvjit Prithvijit Singh
  228. Waheeda Rehman
  229. Will Self
  230. William Dalrymple
  231. William Pinch
  232. Wipas Srithong
  233. Yatindra Mishra
  234. Zia Haider Rahman

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