JLF brings a month long celebration of the power of literature to North America with JLF Colorado, JLF Houston, JLF New York and JLF Toronto


As the world continues to go through extraordinary times and we embrace a new digital idiom, the  power of books, ideas and discourse is vital and invigorating, as is the importance of ensuring a free  flow of knowledge and information. This year, Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature  Festival, is presenting digital versions of its much-awaited literary festivals held annually in North  America - JLF Colorado Online, JLF Houston Online, JLF New York Online and JLF Toronto Online. This  year, the online editions of the festivals continue to bring together an extremely diverse palate of  global themes while celebrating the unique culture, diversity, energy and beauty of the host cities, as  usual marked by a strong sense of camaraderie, a caravan of ideas, and the magical flow of  conversations. Teamwork Arts has partnered with Boulder Public Library for JLF Colorado Online; with  the Consulate General of India, Houston, Asia Society Texas Center, and Inprint for JLF Houston Online;  with Asia Society, New York for JLF New York Online.  

The month-long programming will include topics like the COVID-19 pandemic, crime-writing,  environment, poetry, international politics, racial equality and discrimination, entertainment, fiction  etc. JLF in the USA will start on November 8, 2020 with JLF Colorado Online and last till November 24,  2020 concluding JLF New York Online. JLF Colorado Online will have sessions from November 8 - 11,  2020 and November 15 - 18, 2020. JLF Houston Online will run from November 21 - 22, 2020, JLF New  York Online will run from November 23 - 24, 2020 and JLF Toronto Online will run between November  27- 29, 2020. 

Namita Gokhale, Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director, said, “The challenges of our changing times  have led us at JLF to create and curate an incredibly rich and diverse digital platform. Our well established literary festivals in Houston, New York and Boulder, Colorado will be presented virtually in  2020. The US editions will, as ever, engage with both the local and the global, giving voice to writers,  poets and thinkers as they celebrate books, dialogue and debate.” 

Nadir Patel, High Commissioner for Canada to India said, “I am delighted that the second edition of  the JLF-Toronto is returning to Canada in its new virtual avatar. Art and artistic expressions transcend  boundaries and barriers, allowing for a free flow of thoughts and ideas. The benefits that the arts bring  to the economy, to building identity, pride and a shared sense of values are indispensable. The JLF  provides an exceptional platform for global authors and thought leaders to engage and strengthen our  cultural and bilateral ties.” 

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, Festival Producer, said, “Literature, ideas and  knowledge are at the heart of our every effort to ensure a free flow of knowledge and information, specially in these times. With JLF USA, Teamwork Arts brings to you our largest ever program spread  over 4 weeks with Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer, Commonwealth and other award-winning speakers to  share their ideas and vision on a slew of issues from BLM to the environment, performing poetry to  democracy, music to film.”

The sessions at JLF Colorado Online will be graced by an extended list of eminent speakers which  includes president of the French Political Science Association and author Christophe Jaffrelot; Mountbatten Literary Award-winning author David Abulafia; author of the acclaimed Winter Counts:  A Novel, David Heska Wanbli Weiden; Nobel Laureate Eric Cornell; Indian author and journalist  Hussain Zaidi; Norwegian writer, musician, economist, and former soccer player Jo Nesbo; American  humanities academic Kara Keeling; Dutch-Lebanese journalist and author Kim Ghattas; author  Nathalie Etoke; award winning author and poet Nathalie Handal; author Rheea Mukherjee;  environmentalist Trevor Price; philosopher, educator, and a polymath monk The Venerable Tenzin  Priyadarshi; Indian-American writer Vikram Chandra; Man Booker Prize-winning author Yann Martel;  

Houston will feature speakers like acclaimed Indian-American author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni;  scholar and critical theorist Homi K. Bhabha; writer, literary translator, and book critic Jenny Bhatt;  author of Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire, Heroines:  Powerful Indian Women in Myth and History Ira Mukhoty; author, screenwriter, playwright, and staff  writer for The New Yorker Lawrence Wright; British journalist Matt Ridley.  

The New York sessions will have American author Anand Giridharadas; Russian journalist and author  Luke Harding; Michael Sandel described as “the most relevant living philosopher”, and a “rock-star  moralist” by Newsweek; British journalist Owen Bennett-Jones; New York–based Pulitzer Awardee poet Vijay Seshadri

The Toronto sessions will feature eminent speakers like journalist and broadcaster and the author of  several highly acclaimed books Anthony Sattin; Indo-Canadian novelist and playwright Anosh Irani;  author of the international bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming David Wallace Wells; celebrated Indian author Devdutt Pattanaik; Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian,  novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue; Canadian journalist Harnarayan Singh; geographer and  bestselling author James Raffan; author and chef Meeru Dhalwal; British librarian and author Richard  Ovenden; poet and novelist Ruth Padel; international speaker, bestselling author, and human rights  advocate, recognized among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, Samra Zafar; celebrated  Indian author and politician Shashi Tharoor; acclaimed and bestselling author Simon Winchester;  Shakespearean, literary historian, and author Stephen Greenblatt

After being launching in Colorado, the grand feast of ideas will then travel to Houston and New York.  The sessions will be live-streamed on the JLF website.  

For more information on this year’s programme, visit https://jlflitfest.org/.  


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