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JLF: Bookers' paradise all set to open gates on Thursday

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 23, 2019  | 18:22 IST

Jaipur, Jan 23 (PTI) "Yes, Jaipur. Of course, Jaipur Literature Festival where else," a passenger on the Delhi-Jaipur Shatabadi train told a co-traveller. It is that time of the year again when all roads lead to Jaipur, which is gearing up to host over 350 writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians and more at the annual literary extravaganza that is the JLF. Scheduled to begin on Thursday, the five-day festival, attended by tens of thousands of visitors, will once again be held at the historic Diggi Palace, which with all the decorations seems nothing less than a wedding venue. "Our world is changing so fast... this year we have sessions on artificial intelligence, genetics and what the future holds for our planet. There is a new term now -- cli-fi. We have a beautiful session on cli-fi (climate fiction) on what would happen if bees disappear. "I feel at this moment in our country it is very very important to give impetus to empirical thinking," said Namita Gokhale, co-director of the festival. Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan will speak on the 'Importance of Science', cosmologist Priyamvada Natarajan and professor of AI Toby Walsh will educate the audience on topics like 'Mapping The Heavens' and 'How the Future is Now'. respectively. Co-director William Dalrymple announced earlier this month that he would not be able to make it to the festival this year due to the passing away of his father. "Apologies, but I am going to miss Jaipur this year in order to attend to family affairs following the death of my beloved Pop (father). It's just too soon after his death, which has been a huge blow for me and my family, and I need to be with them and deal with the aftermath of his passing," the author and historian tweeted. Among the speakers to watch out for this year are two Pulitzer prize-winning authors, Andrew Sean Greer and Colson Whitehead, writer Andre Aciman of "Call Me By Your Name" fame, and feminist icons Mary Beard and Germaine Greer. Ben Okri, writer of Man-Booker-winning "The Famished Road", English historian Bettany Hughes, British-Nigerian historian David Olusoga and bestselling novelist Jeffrey Archer will also be participating in the event. Speakers from within the country include politician-author Shashi Tharoor, diplomat Navtej Sarna, Kishwar Desai, Ira Mukhoty, Amitabha Bagchi, Amitava Kumar, Anita Nair, Devdutt Pattanaik, Makarand Paranjape, Naina Lal Kidwai and Rana Dasgupta. The sixth edition of Jaipur BookMark (JBM), which runs parallel to the literary festival, kicked off on Wednesday with a key-note address by Juergen Boos, the CEO of the Frankfurt Book Fair. PTI MG TRS MIN MIN

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