Tribute to Sunil Gangopadhyay at 2013 Jaipur Litfest

A tribute to eminent Bengali litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay is being planned at the sixth Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2013, an annual event which engages a bevy of writers from across the world in discussions, debates, readings, music and workshops.

A session "Remembering Sunil Da" will pay tribute to Gangopadhyay who had accepted the invitation to attend the Festival that has been scheduled to take place at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur from January 24-January 28. The Bengali writer passed away last month.

The themes and session strands at the Festival will focus on a wide range of topics, some of which are "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".

Some of the authors who have confirmed their presence for the upcoming edition are Ambai, Benyamin, Bhalchandra Nemade, Diana Eck, Elizabeth Gilbert, Erica Jong, Frank Dikkoter, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gulzar, Hisham Matar, Homi Bhabha, Howard Jacobson, Javed Akhtar, Kancha Ilaiah, Kunwar Narain, Linda Grant, Madeline Miller, Michael Sandel, Michel Houellebecq, Nadeem Aslam Reza Aslan, and Zoe Heller.

International sessions will explore Russian literature, the Jewish novel, Shakespeare, Kipling, cricket writing, the New Africa, Iran, and writing on the contemporary art scene.

Festival co-director Namita Gokhale said, "This January, the magical banyan tree of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival will once again spread its branches and extend it roots, as another intense and joyous edition of the fest continues the tradition of books, dialogue and creativity.

"Sessions on the Buddha will comprise aspects of literature, aesthetics, philosophy and social issues, with writers and practitioners like Ranjini Obeyesekere, Ani Choying, Benoy K Behl and Kancha Ilaiah" she said in a statement.

Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said, "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.

Some of the themes to be explored include "Stalin vs. Mao", "Freedom of Speech", "The Middle East", "The Future of Afghanistan", "Empire", "Yoga", the "18th Century Sexual Revolution", "Depression", "Gandhi Re-examined", "Ethics", "Ashoka" and "Breakout Nations."

The festival, which has grown over the years and previously hosted personalties like Oprah Winfrey, J M Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Pico Iyer, Colin Thubron and Tina Brown will feature an additional venue the Char Bagh, that has been added to the existing venues at Diggi Palace.

There will be representation of Indian languages including Hindi, Urdu, Rajasthani, Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Punjabi, Bangla, Malayalam, Gujarati, Sindhi, Kannada, and Kashmiri. Special emphasis on the transition of Maithili and Bhojpuri literature from the traditional to the contemporary.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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