Jaipur, Jan 4: The five-day Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) which begins Jan 17 will see discussions on a range of topics, including the Second World War, the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, history, religion and the art of short stories.
Among the more prominent authors in attendance this year are Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’ Mary Beard, an Order of the British Empire (OBE) awardee and teacher of classics at Cambridge University’ and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri.
The festival venue is the Diggi Palace, and 139 speakers from across the world will be attending.
British writer Samantha Shannon, actor Irrfan Khan and boxer Mary Kom will also address sessions.
British journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott Clark, who co-authored “The Siege” will visit the festival to tell stories about the guests, staff, police and the National Security Guards involved in the November 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, organisers of the festival said Saturday.
Iranian author and religious scholar, Reza Aslan, whose controversial biography of Jesus Christ, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” grabbed headlines in 2013, will also be present.
Aslan, through the book, offered a fresh perspective into the life of Jesus, looking at the historical figure of the man filled with zeal.
He is also the author of “No god but God: The Origins”, “Evolution”, and “The Future of Islam.”
British historian Antony Beevor, the author of “The Second World War” will talk about the war from a global perspective. A master of non-fiction and winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, this author of over nine books will discuss the impact of the war on world politics.
Giving surprising insights into contemporary China will be Rana Mitter, professor of history and politics of modern China at Oxford University, whose book “Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II” throws light on the untold story of China’s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan.
Mary Beard’s “Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town,” widely hailed as bringing a human touch to the tale of a petrified city, believed to have been founded in the sixth century BC, will also be discussed by the author.
The JLF is an annual event, billed these days as the world’s largest free literary festival. The first of these festivals began on a small scale as part of the Jaipur Heritage International Festival in 2006.