Controversies aside, Jaipur Literature Festival begins today

Jaipur Literature Festival

The five-day literary extravaganza beginning at the Diggi Palace will be graced by Nobel Prize winner and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The event will discuss through a series of sessions the influence of Buddhism on philosophy and literature and how writers view the influence of this ancient religion on their writings.

International authors like Commonwealth Prize winner Aminatta Forna, Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson, two Orange Prize winners Linda Grant and Madeline Miller will also attend the festival. Other notable names are Ahdaf Soueif, Tahar Ben Jalloun, Sebastian Faulks, Deborah Moggach and Zoe Heller.

According to the organisers, international sessions at the festival will explore Russian literature, the Jewish novel, Shakespeare, Kipling, cricket writing, the New Africa, Iran, and writing on the contemporary art scene.

"The international list at Jaipur this year is one of unprecedented depth and range, with our most cerebral and intellectually formidable group of writers yet," Dalrymple said.

The themes and session at the festival this year will focus on a wide range of topics including, The Buddha in Literature, The Republic of Ideas (a Republic Day focus on ideas of India), Re-imagining the Kama Sutra, Hindi-English Bhai Bhai, Alternative Sexualities, Lok Geet Folk Geet, Bollywood ki Nayi Sanskriti, and Bibliodiversity Dialogues, they said.

This year, about 275 authors are scheduled to make an appearance in the event.

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