Tag: Jaipur literature festival

  • A writer’s conscience, and protests

    A writer’s conscience, and protests

    A major Indian literary festival chooses to partner with a corporate sponsor of dubious track record. The JLF Southbank festival is in London; a few weeks before it starts, a campaign asks writers to boycott the festival, citing Vedanta’s track record on tribal and adivasi rights. Some campaigners trash the culture of literary festivals, calling […]

  • The JLF columns: Unhearing the words

    (Published in the Business Standard on January 23rd and 24th; both were written at the Jaipur Literature Festival. This is the first piece.)There were two Jaipur Literature Festivals this year. The first was the festival that attracts readers by the thousands, to hear celebrities like Oprah, writers of the calibre of Tom Stoppard or Bama […]

  • Ten of the best: JLF sessions

    The official recordings of the sessions by Amitava Kumar, Hari Kunzru, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi where the writers read out from the Satanic Verses as a gesture of protest are not available on the festival site. Ten other discussions/ readings that stood out for me: 1) Michael Ondaatje, discussing Cat’s Cradle with Amitava Kumar. […]

  • JLF: excerpts

    On writing with the reader in mind:Martin Amis: I never think of you. No, I think you’re dead if you’re writing for a certain reader.Richard Ford: I couldn’t disagree more. I think if you don’t have a public, you don’t have a self as a writer. Get outside your room, get into the lives and […]

  • JLF: writers, voices of

    Martin Amis on writing about sex:“It’s impossible to write autobiographically about sex. What voice can you use: ‘Bravo, I took her again in the morning?’”and on writing: “To accuse a novelist of egotism is like accusing a boxer of violence.” “But writing is not a collaborative art. A writer comes most alive when they are […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Jaipur Litfest Primer

    (Published in the Business Standard, January 3, 2010)Perhaps the only way to understand the Jaipur Literature Festival is to think of a traditional mehfil crossed with a darbar. Over six years, the JLF has grown from a sleepy, intimate local festival held on the lawns of the eccentric Diggi Palace to Asia’s largest literary festival, […]

  • Jaipur Literature Festival: finallyfinally

    (I promise, this is the last of the updates–my column for the Business Standard, which reprises some of the stuff in the blog posts. For a really thoughtful critique of the festival, see Namita Bhandare’s take. It’s funny how possessive all of us who’ve been attending the JLF from year one or two onwards feel […]

  • Jaipur Literature Festival: final notes

    -The Hanif Kureishi-Amitava Kumar session was a classic example of how matching the right moderator to the right writer can pay off massive dividends. The JLF had a little trouble with this, with Chetan Bhagat asking Anjum Hassan daft, condescending questions about how it felt to move from “the dressing table to the writing table”. […]

  • Jaipur Literature Festival: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    “Censorship isn’t just something imposed by the state,” says Ali Sethi. “It’s also a mental state.” Free speech isn’t one of the themes for the JLF this year, but like the various memes floating around the festival—gulags, conspiracy theories, the changing nature of freedom, the state versus the individual—it comes up in interesting ways. Sethi […]

  • Jaipur and All That

    I’ve been warned that the Jaipur Literature Festival is no longer the cozy and cheerfully eccentric fest of my memories–“darling, it’ll be like Polo Season out there,” a friend said darkly, packing her pearls as she spoke. But I’m still fond of it for two reasons: 1) I don’t have to travel to Edinburgh to […]