Jaipur Literature Festival 2022: Elif Shafak, Kei Miller among speakers

Elif Shafak as guest of Jaipur Literature Festival
Elif Shafak

The annual Jaipur Literature Festival announced its second list of speakers for the much-awaited 15th edition, set to take place from January 28 to February 1, 2022, in Jaipur.

As the just-released list shows, the Festival will once again be a grand marathon of ideas between idealists, realists, visionaries, intellectuals, the avant-garde, and the iconoclasts, who will engage in informed discussion and be united by an abiding love for literature, said the organisers.

The second list of 25 speakers include Indian poet, LGBTQ rights activist and author of Like Blood on the Bitten Tongue: Delhi Poems and How Many Countries Does the Indus Cross  Akhil Katyal; British biographer, literary agent and author of several book books – including those on the lives of the writer John Buchan, spy Guy Burgess and Edward VIII – Andrew Lownie; Mumbai-based writer and journalist Anindita Ghose; British archaeologist and author of (co-written with late anthropologist David Graeber) the New York Times bestseller The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity David Wengrow; award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read woman author in Turkey Elif Shafak; Rajya Sabha MP, Ex-Union Minister and author of several well-known books Jairam Ramesh; Sahitya Akademi Award recipient, renowned poet, writer, critic, playwright and editor who has written extensively in English and Malayalam K. Satchidanandan; PEN Open Book Award-nominated Jamaican poet, writer and essayist Kei Miller.

Making the list more vibrant, the stellar line-up includes renowned Bangladeshi journalist Mahfuz Anam; critically acclaimed historian and writer of the most recently published False Allies: India’s Maharajahs in the Age of Ravi Varma Manu S. Pillai; American academic and author of the award-winning books Edge of Empire, Liberty’s Exiles and The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World Maya Jasanoff; British writer of Booker Prize-shortlisted book Brick Lane – Monica Ali; actor, child-rights activist and writer of six children’s books, translated into more than 15 languages globally, Nandana Dev Sen; Co-Chairman of Forbes Marshall, engineer, businessman, and author of The Struggles and the Promises Naushad D. Forbes; feminist, publisher and writer of the recent ZOHRA! A Biography in Four Acts Ritu Menon; author of internationally bestselling and award-winning books Underland, The Old Ways, Landmarks, and The Lost Words: A Spell Book (with writer Jackie Morris ) – Robert Macfarlane.

Giving it a diverse flavour, the speaker list includes celebrated Hollywood actor, director, and writer Rupert Everett; award-winning British poet, author of 12 poetry collections, two books on wildlife and two novels Ruth Padel; Indian novelist, critic, and academic Saikat Majumdar; Sri Lankan writer of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew which won the Commonwealth Prize, the DSC Prize, the Gratiaen Prize and was adjudged the second greatest cricket book of all time – Shehan Karunatilaka; award-winning Indian film actress, TV personality and author Sonali Bendre; Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar recipient author Tanuj Solanki; author of a range of books that include The Body Adorned, Discourse in Early Buddhist Art and Yogini Cult and Temples and India: A Story Through 100 Objects Padma Bhushan Vidya Dehejia; senior Indian journalist and National Award-winning filmmaker Vinod Kapri.

Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher, and Co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “Our second list of speakers unfurls to provide a further glimpse into the rich diversity of voices to be platformed at Jaipur Literature Festival 2022. We are proud to present writers and thinkers, dreamers and doers, from across languages, cultures, and continents.”

William Dalrymple, writer, historian, and Co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “We are coming back with a truly spectacular lineup of literary superstars from across the world. In fiction, we have this year’s Booker winner, the great Damon Galgut, his predecessors Monica Ali & DBC Pierre, Pulitzer winner Jonathan Franzen and Turkish superstar Elif Shafak. We have Rob Macfarlane on nature writing, Rupert Everett on Hollywood, Vidya Dehejia on Chola bronzes. We also have a special focus on archaeology and ancient history: Cat Jarman on the Vikings, David Wengrove on the Dawn of Everything, and many more.”

The Festival has hosted nearly 5000 speakers and performers and welcomed over a million booklovers from across the world since its inception in 2007. Today, the Jaipur Literature Festival has grown to become a global literary phenomenon, which is home to riveting conversations, debates, and dialogue.