Press Release





2017 marks ten years of the Jaipur Literature Festival and its meteoric rise from a small gem of an idea to the world’s largest free literary festival, having hosted more than 1300 speakers over the past decade.


Frequently described as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 will take place between 19 and 23 January 2017 in its beautiful home at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.


The Festival expects to welcome over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists, and popular culture icons to Jaipur this coming January. Equity and democracy run through the Festival’s veins, placing some of the world’s greatest wordsmiths and intellects from all walks of life together on stage.


Today, the fourth set of 10 speakers appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 were announced as:


  1. Famous Rajasthani author and poet Hari Ram Meena will return to Jaipur Literature Festival. He is the winner of the 2012 Bihari Puraskar for his Hindi novel Dhooni Tape Teer, and author of When Arrows Were Heated Up and Travels in the Adivasi World. Meena is a former IPS officer who has previously spoken out about how his posting in the tribal and dacoit-infested areas inspired him to write novels and poems.


  1. Neerja Mattoo was formerly Professor of English and Head of Department of English, Govt. Women College, Srinagar, Kashmir. She is among few Kashmiri Pandit women scholars who has kept contact with

the academic world in Srinagar, Kashmir in recent times. She has translated a collection of Kashmiri short stories under the title The Stranger Beside Me which has been published by UBSPD. Along with AN Dhar, she has edited a book on Bhagwan Gopi Nath. She has written on women poets of Kashmir, especially on Rupa Bhawani, and recently on Lal Ded. A writer, translator, academic and social activist, she will return to Jaipur Literature Festival in 2017.


  1. Sadaf Saaz is a Bangladeshi poet, activist and entrepreneur, who grew up in the UK, studying Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Cambridge. She is also co-director and producer of the Dhaka Literature Festival, where she promotes South Asian arts and culture and is a strong advocate for women’s rights. Her debut collection of poetry, Sari Dreams, was published in 2013. She has also written a series of monologues titled That Which Cannot Be Said about the Bangladeshi women’s experience, and is working on a novel.


  1. Robert Blackwill, writer and diplomat, isaHenry A. Kissinger senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Blackwill served previously as the U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national advisor at the White House. In 2016 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan Award. His latest book, War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft, was published by Harvard University Press.
  2. Rachel Dwyer is Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at the School of Asian Studies, University of London. Her PhD research was on the Gujarati lyrics of Dayaram (1777-1852) and her main research interest is in Hindi cinema. She has written and edited several books and anthologies on the subject; her most recent book is Picture Abhi Baaki Hai: Bollywood As a Guide to Modern India.


  1. Dambisa Moyo is a global economist and author who analyses the macroeconomy and international affairs. She has been named on lists such as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2009 – the year her first book was published – GQ’s 100 Most Connected Women in 2014 and the 25 Most Influential Global Economists. Her writing regularly appears in publications such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of three New York Times bestsellers. Moyo serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, Barrick Gold, SABMiller and Seagate Technology.


  1. Making her first appearance at Jaipur Literature Festival is Lila Azam Zanganeh who writes and lives in New York City. She grew up in Paris to Iranian parents and is fluent in seven languages. She has contributed literary articles, interviews and essays to publications including The New York Times, Le Monde, and The Paris Review. Lila Azam Zanganeh has taught Romance literature and cinema at Harvard University. Her first book, The Enchanter, was published internationally. She has just completed her second novel titled A Tale for Lovers & Madmen.
  2. AN Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist. A prolific and varied writer, his works spans satire such asThe Vicar of Sorrows, historical fiction including Gentleman in England, biography

and historical nonfiction such as The Victorians. His other nonfiction books include Iris Murdoch As I Knew Her, the controversial biography of Irish novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, and The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible. He spent a year training for the priesthood before deciding to focus on his first novel The Sweets of Pimlico. He will return to JLF in 2017.


  1. Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul. Her recent memoir The Girl with Seven Names – A North Korean Defector’s Story, has been published in 18 languages. Over 8 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China and struggle to bring her family to freedom. Oprah described it as ‘the most riveting Ted Talk ever’. She is currently writing her second book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea and is starting an NGO, North Star NK, to help North Korean refugees improve their lives and interact with the international community.


  1. Vladimir Lucien is a writer from St. Lucia. His poems and criticism have appeared in The Caribbean Review of Books, PN (Poetry Nation) Review, Wasafiri, Bim Magazine and Small Axe Journal among others. Sounding Ground, his debut collection of poetry, was the overall winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.


Further information on sessions and more speakers appearing at the 10th Jaipur Literature Festival will follow over the coming weeks.


~~ ENDS ~~



Information on Registration for the Jaipur Literature Festival can be found here:


For media enquiries on the Jaipur Literature Festival, please contact Edelman India: /

For Jaipur Media Coordination:

Jagdeep Singh

  1. 09829065787


Kamal Kant

  1. 09571836810



About the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017

The past decade has seen the Jaipur Literature Festival grow into the world’s largest free event of its kind. Having hosted 1300 speakers and welcoming nearly 1.2 million book lovers, the success of JLF has been astonishing and heartwarming.


Celebrating writers from across the globe, the Festival has hosted some of the best regarded and loved names, ranging from Nobel Laureates and Man Booker Prize winners to debut writers such as Amish


Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Eleanor Catton, Hanif Kureishi, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Ian McEwan, JM Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Mohammed Hanif, Oprah Winfrey, Orhan Pamuk, Pico Iyer,

Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty, Vikram Seth and Wole Soyinka, as well as renowned Indian language writers such as Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, MT Vasudevan Nair, Uday Prakash as well as the late Mahasweta Devi and UR Ananthamurthy.


Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple invite authors from across the globe to take part in the five-day programme set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital Jaipur.


Equity and democracy run through the Festival’s veins, placing some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers from all walks of life together on stage. All events are completely free and there are no reserved spaces; this egalitarian access is a powerful statement in a country where access to such individuals remains the privilege of a few. On top of all this, people are guaranteed to have fun!


As Time Out said: “It’s settled. The Jaipur Literature Festival is officially the Woodstock, Live 8 and Ibiza of world literature, with an ambience that can best be described as James Joyce meets Monsoon Wedding.”


The Festival is a flagship event of Teamwork Arts, which produces over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities globally, and is produced by Sanjoy K. Roy.


In 2014, JLF spread its wings beyond the borders of India with an annual event in May at London’s Southbank Centre. In 2015, JLF headed across the pond to Boulder, Colorado where it hosts a similar event every September.


About Teamwork Arts

For over 25 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India.

In countries such as Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and USA, Teamwork produces over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities.


Teamwork Arts produces one of the world’s largest free literary gatherings, the annual Jaipur Literature Festival, the Ishara International Puppet Festival in New Delhi, the annual Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) and Festival, international festivals Shared History in South Africa, Eye on India in the United States of America, India by the Bay in Hong Kong, Confluence- Festival of India in Australia, and many more.



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