ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 Speakers unveiled at Delhi Preview. Set to take place between 24-28 January 2019, the annual high noon of literature returns to its customary home, Jaipur’s glorious Diggi Palace Hotel – for its 12th edition. To be followed by its Mumbai preview on Wednesday, the Festival held its Delhi preview in partnership with the Taj Group of Hotels at the Taj Mahal Hotel monday evening. A veritable power-house roster of speakers was unveiled this evening which, like every year, reflects the diversity of the Festival’s programming in books, themes, subjects, and ideas representing literature and thoughts intrinsic to both India and the world.

Three of Lit: William Dalrymple—Namita Gokhale—Sanjoy K. Roy
Master of the twist-in-the-tale Jeffery Archer and his extraordinarily dramatic and chequered life.
The literary ‘Kumbh’ has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million book lovers over the past decade, evolving into a global literary spectacle. This year, the Festival will host over 350 speakers writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from across a vast array of nationalities, representing several Indian and international languages as well as major awards such as the Nobel, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, the Sahitya Akademi, the JCB Prize for Literature and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.


Over 350 speakers including Akhil Katyal, Ben Okri, Benyamin, Bettany Hughes, Colson Whitehead, Darryl Jones, David Olusuga, Ira Mukhoty, Jeffery Archer, Mary Beard, Navtej Sarna, Priyamvada Natarajan, Reni Eddo Lodge, Shashi Tharoor, Sven Beckert and Venki Ramakrishnan.


The list of speakers features a stellar line-up of Indian and international names covering issues as kaleidoscopic as the classics, war, espionage, intelligence, politics, environment and climate change, women and gender, management and entrepreneurship, technology, along with broader themes such as mythology, crime science, history, cinema.

On the list are some of the world’s greatest thinkers and writers: Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and author of Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome which unlocks the mysteries of the gene-reading molecule, one of humanity’s greatest puzzles; Ben Okri, whose Man-Booker-winning The Famished Road, asks the haunting question “who is the prisoner?”, and who will get to the heart of his own life and writing; Colson Whitehead, author of six novels, versatile columnist for the New York TimesThe New YorkerNew York MagazineHarper's and Granta among others, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer for his heart-stopping tour de force, Underground RailroadPriyamvada Natarajan, a cosmologist noted for her work in mapping dark matter, dark energy, and black holes, a Professor at Yale, and acclaimed author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos, who will take attendees on a tour to “map the heavens” across the greatest cosmological discoveries of the past century.


Jaipur Music Stage announced its headliners including DubFX, Jasbir Jassi, Kutle Khan, Nooran Sisters.


The 2019 line-up continues to scintillate minds thirsty for knowledge with Harvard Professor of History and Pulitzer finalist Sven Beckert whose The Empire of Cotton weaves together the story of cotton with how the present world order, amidst a constant and complex interplay between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory-owners, came to exist while ushering in forces of modern capitalism; master of the twist-in-the-tale Jeffery Archer who will speak about his extraordinarily dramatic and chequered life, and introduce his recently-released Heads You Win, a work of fiction spanning two continents and thirty years. Celebrated British Nigerian broadcaster and film-maker David Olusoga will be in conversation with Sir Richard Evans, formerly Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, as he defends the role of history as an imperative to our understanding of the way we live; in ‘The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire’ Olusoga will focus on how Europe's Great War became the World's War – and discuss the chilling paraphernalia of the era's racial obsessions which dictated which men would serve, how they would serve and to what degree they would suffer.

Olusoga will be in conversation with Reni Eddo-Lodge on the latter’s bestseller Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race which won the 2018 British Book Awards Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year and sparked a national conversation in Britain on class and race and their complicated and bloody trail of conflict. Eddo-Lodge will be in discussion too with Cambridge Professor of Classics, classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement and vocal feminist Mary Beard about history’s flawed positioning of women under the shadow of dominating cultural misogyny, especially relevant in the aftermath of #MeToo. Beard will additionally talk of the history of Rome, a civilization and an empire which was the fulcrum of Western history controlling vast tracts between Spain and Syria, and laying the foundation for several subsequent realities such as slavery, citizenship, democracy, religious controversy, migration, with fellow historian, acclaimed broadcaster, and King’s College Professor Bettany Hughes, whose captivating book on Istanbul, that feisty and dazzling pastiche of a city rich with history, conflict and antiquity, will also feature in a discussion at the Festival with William Dalrymple.

Diplomat Navtej Sarna in ‘The Post American World’ will elaborate upon how the growth of India, China, Brazil, Russia and Africa is generating a new landscape and will soon push the West out of its position of complacence and hegemony to one that recognises this seismic power shift; Sarna will join Kishwar Desai, author of Jallianwala Bagh, 1919, among others, to seek the backstory of that fateful day of April 13, 1919 a century after; writer and columnist Ira Mukhoty, author of Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire, will discuss Nur Jehan and the other indomitable Mughal women who in many ways defined that era.

A session has been set for ‘Tharoorisms’ where the prolific Shashi Tharoor will speak of his personal and political beliefs and his vast oeuvre of work laced with his characteristic wit.

Australian Professor Darryl Jones, well-known ecologist and naturalist,author of The Birds at My Table, will focus on what is perhaps the modern world’s most critical crisis: climate change, and the ingenuity required to reverse its shattering consequences while in another session he will discuss the fragile balance of human interaction with the other species with whom we share our planet.

The Jaipur Music Stage, 2019 line-up includes the earthy and soulful Nooran Sisters; leading Carnatic and world music vocalist Mahesh Vinayakram in collaboration with Dub FX (Benjamin Stanford), an unbelievably gifted street musician who creates powerful music with just his voice, synthesisers and loop machines. The ever-popular and effervescent Punjabi folk singer Jasbir Jassi will also be part of never-seen-before collaboration with Kutle Khan, sublime reinventor of Rajasthani folk.

Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale

Speaking on the occasion of today’s preview, author and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said, “The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival has, through the last decade, helped articulate and foster a unique literary and creative culture across the world. Our programme remains determinedly diverse and multilingual, with over sixteen Indian languages, twelve International languages, and almost thirty nationalities represented at Jaipur this January."

Writer and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple

Writer and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said, “I am thrilled to launch our line-up in Delhi. The audiences that come to the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival always contain a large number of Delhi literature-lovers and our list of star writers is always full of Delhi literati. We hope to see more Delhi wallahs than ever at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 and I look forward to welcoming them at the Diggi Palace in January.

Sanjoy K. Roy

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producers of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “The annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival brings the world to India and takes India to the world. Over 300 speakers covering a range of topics will converge on one of the loveliest heritage cities in the world weaving stories of hope and resilience, love and betrayal. A veritable celebration of the written word!

Satyajeet Krishnan

Satyajeet Krishnan, Area Director, North and General Manager, Taj Mahal, New Delhi said, “Taj Mahal, New Delhi is privileged to continue its association with the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival for the fifth year in a row to present an exclusive glimpse of the much awaited annual event. The Hotel has been a purveyor of art, culture, heritage and timeless traditions for four decades now and we are delighted to collaborate with Teamwork Arts to offer a sneak peek into the country’s most popular literary festival.”

Qutbi Brothers

The Delhi Curtain Raiser featured a spectacular performance by India’s most celebrated qawwali singers, the Qutbi Brothers, and a panel discussion: ‘The First Draft of History: The Perils of Journalism’ with Saba Naqvi, Suhasini Haider, Jeffrey Gettlemen, Nikhil Kumar and Neelesh Misra which was moderated by Swati Chaturvedi. The Mumbai Curtain Raiser is slated for December 5 in partnership with Avid Learning at the Royal Opera House where the Festival programme will be unveiled.

With previews as exciting as these, there’s much to be expected from the upcoming edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. Book-lovers, globe-trotters, backpackers, vacationers, students and ideas-seekers are perhaps indistinguishable in their wait for the world’s definitive annual marathon of books to begin.

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Photographs courtesy Bharat S Tiwari (c)
List of ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 Speakers...3 December 2018

1. A.J Finn 
2. Aarathi Prasad
3. Abhay K.
4. Aadil Raza Mansoori
5. Ahdaf Soueif
6. Ajoy Sodani
7. Akhil Katyal
8. Alexander McCall Smith
9. Álvaro Enrigue
10. Ambi Parameswaran
11. Amitabha Bagchi
12. Amit Lodha
13. Amit Majmudar
14. Amitabh Kant
15. Amitava Kumar
16. Amrita Tripathi
17. Andre Aciman
18. Andrea di Robilant
19. Andrew Marr
20. Andrew Sean Greer
21. Anindita Ghose
22. Anish Kapoor
23. Anita Heiss
24. Anita Nair
25. Anjum Hasan
26. Anoushka Sabnis
27. Anshu Harsh
28. Anubha Mehta
29. Anuk Arudpragasam
30. Anupama Raju
31. Anuradha Roy
32. Anushree Rathore
33. Arpita Das 
34. Aruna Roy
35. Arunava Sinha
36. Arushi Raina
37. Ashok Chakradhar
38. Ashok Vajpeyi
39. Ashwin Sanghi
40. Åsne Seierstad
41. Assa Doron
42. Audrey Truschke
43. Akwaeke Emezi
44. Barkha Dutt
45. Bee Rowlatt
46. Ben Okri
47. Benyamin
48. Bettany Hughes
49. Boria Majumdar
50. Bulbul Sharma
51. CP Deval
52. Carlo Pizzati
53. Chandrahas Choudhury
54. Charles Spencer
55. Chinmay Tumbe
56. Chitra Divakaruni
57. Christine Corton
58. Christopher de Hamel
59. Claudia Roden
60. Colson Whitehead 
61. Cynthia Gentry
62. Daman Singh
63. Dan Jones
64. Daniel Hahn
65. Daniel E.Lieberman
66. Darryl Jones
67. David Reich
68. David Olusoga
69. David McWilliams
70. Dean Nelson
71. Deepa Agarwal
72. Devdutt Pattanaik
73. Dhruv Raj Sharma
74. Eliza Griswold
75. Franco Cardini
76. Frankie Edozien
77. Gayatri Rangachari Shah
78. Geeta Tandon
79. Geetanjali Shree
80. Germaine Greer
81. Gonçalo M. Tavares
82. Gulzar
83. Guneet Monga
84. Gurcharan Das
85. Hanne Ørstavik
86. Hardeep Singh Puri
87. Hari Kunzru
88. Harish Trivedi
89. Harsh Mander
90. Helena Kennedy
91. Henriette Rostrup
92. Ira Mukhoty
93. Irvine Welsh
94. Isabella Tree
95. Jagdish Giri
96. Javed Akhtar
97. Jeffrey Archer
98. James Crabtree
99. James Mallinson
100. Janaki Lenin
101. Jan Carson
102. Jaya Bhattacharji Rose
103. Jayant Kaikini
104. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
105. Jenny Uglow
106. Jeremy Paxman
107. Jerry Pinto
108. John Elliott
109. John Zubrzycki
110. Jon Lee Anderson
111. Juergen Boos
112. KJ Alphons
113. Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd
114. Kannan Sundaram
115. Kanishk Tharoor
116. Kapil Sibal 
117. Karima Khalil
118. Kathy Wong
119. Katty Kay
120. Kaveh Akbar
121. Kayo Chingonyi
122. Kent Nerburn
123. Kim Wagner
124. Kishwar Desai
125. Kunzang Choden
126. Laura Lindstedt
127. Latika Nath
128. Laura Spinney
129. Lenora Chu
130. MS Jodha
131. Madhavi Menon
132. Mahesh Rao
133. Makarand R. Paranjape
134. Marc Quinn
135. Marcus Moench
136. Margit Walsø
137. Meghna Gulzar
138. Meghna Pant
139. Malashri Lal
140. Mallika Kapur
141. Maja Lunde
142. Manasi Subramaniam
143. Manisha Koirala
144. Manjima Bhattacharjya
145. Manjeet Hirani
146. Manjushree Thapa
147. Manoranjan Byapari
148. Manu Pillai
149. Marina Warner
150. Markus Zusak
151. Mary Beard
152. Max Rodenbeck
153. Meredith Broussard
154. Mihir Desai
155. Mithali Raj
156. Mitra Phukan
157. Mohammad Hasan
158. Mohan Narayan Samanth
159. Mohit Satyanand
160. Moin Mir
161. Molly Crabapple
162. Mridula Ramesh
163. N. Kalyan Raman
164. Naina Lal Kidwai
165. Namita Bhandare
166. Namita Devidayal
167. Namita Gokhale
168. Namita Waikar
169. Nandini Krishnan
170. Narendra Kohli
171. Nasreen Munni Kabir
172. Navin Chawla
173. Navtej Sarna
174. Neelesh Misra
175. Neeraj Ghei
176. Nikesh Shukla
177. Nikhil Kumar
178. NoViolet Bulawayo
179. NS Madhavan
180. Omar El Akkad
181. Omar Robert Hamilton
182. Ornit Shani
183. Paro Anand
184. Parvati Sharma
185. Patrick French
186. Paul McVeigh
187. Pavan K. Varma
188. Perumal Murugan
189. Peter Bergen
190. Pradip Krishen
191. Pragya Tiwari
192. Prasenjit Basu
193. Pravin Kumar
194. Priya Seth
195. Priyamvada Natarajan
196. Priya Sarukkai Chabria
197. Pushpesh Pant
198. Rachel Johnson
199. Rajdeep Sardesai
200. Rakhshanda Jalil
201. Ramesh Patange
202. Ramita Navai
203. Rana Dasgupta
204. Rana Safvi
205. Ravi Agrawal
206. Ravi Shankar Etteth
207. Ravi Purohit
208. Ravinder Singh
209. Reni Eddo-Lodge
210. Reshma Qureshi
211. Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
212. Ria Sharma
213. Richard Evans
214. Rima Hooja
215. Ritwij Shandilya
216. Robin Jeffrey
217. Robyn Monro-Miller
218. Rohini Chowdhury
219. Rom Whitaker
220. Roy Strong
221. Ruby Lal
222. Ruby Wax
223. Rupert Everett
224. Ruth Padel
225. SR Faruqi
226. SY Quraishi
227. Sadhna Shanker
228. Saket Suman
229. Sam Kiley
230. Sanchaita Gajapati 
231. Sandeep Unnithan
232. Sandip Roy
233. Sanjeev Sanyal
234. Sanjoy Hazarika
235. Sanjoy K. Roy
236. Satyajit Sarna
237. Satyanand Nirupam
238. Saurabh Dwivedi
239. Savi Sharma
240. Sebastian Barry
241. Shabana Azmi
242. Shabri Prasad Singh
243. Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
244. Siddharth Singh
245. Simar Singh
246. Simon Sebag Montefiore
247. Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri
248. Sharmila Sen
249. Shashi Tharoor
250. Sheoraj Singh Bechain
251. Shivshankar Menon
252. Shobhaa De
253. Shubhangi Swarup
254. Sohaila Abdulali
255. Somnath Batabyal
256. Sreenivasan Jain
257. Steve Coll
258. Stewart Gordon
259. Subodh Gupta
260. Suchita Malik
261. Sudeshna Chatterjee
262. Suhasini Haidar
263. Sunil S. Amrith
264. Sunita Toor
265. Sven Beckert
266. TCA Raghavan
267. Tania James
268. Tania Singh
269. Tanwi Nandini Islam
270. Tarun Khanna
271. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury
272. Timmie Kumar
273. Tishani Doshi
274. Toby Walsh
275. Tam Baillie
276. Tova Reich
277. Uday Prakash
278. Urvashi Butalia
279. Ulrike Almut Sandig
280. Upamanyu Chatterjee
281. Usha Uthup
282. Varun Sivaram
283. Veena Venugopal
284. Venki Ramakrishnan
285. Vidya Shah
286. Vikas Jha
287. Vikram Chandra
288. Vishnu Som
289. William Dalrymple
290. William Sieghart
291. Yann Martel
292. Yasmine El Rashidi
293. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg
294. Yatindra Mishra
295. Zachary Leader
296. Zameer Uddin Shah
297. Zeina Hashem Beck
298. Zukiswa Wanner
299. Zuni Chopra 

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