Literary glitterati converge at Jaipur once again!

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The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival lived upto its reputation of being one of the most famous and glittering literary event. Sunday, January 19 was the most popular day with a record footfall of 75,000 in a day confirming the fact once again that Indians do read for pleasure. The seventh ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literary festival, witnessed a record number of visits this year, with total footfall close to 2,20,000. The middle day of the Festival, Sunday, January 19, was the most popular with a footfall of 75,000 throughout the day – the highest number of daily visits ever recorded at ZEE JLF.

The five day celebration of literature hosted two Nobel laureates (Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus), four of this year’s Man Booker authors (Jim Crace, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tash Aw and Alison MacLeod), twenty different Indian and world languages, and one Grammy-award winning band (Tinariwen). The Full Circle Book Store reported sales of over 10,000 books from their 700 titles on offer.

The festival, which remains entirely free to the public, put on 14,700 hot meals and booked 1,800 nights in Jaipur hotels for the 240 participants, which included Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gloria Steinem, Ashok Vajpeyi, SR Faruqi, Ved Mehta, Reza Aslan, Samantha Shannon, Ganesh Devy, MT Vasudevan Nair Mahesh Dattani and Narendra Kohli. The Festival closed with a rousing debate in favour of democracy and freedom of expression.

The 2014 festival also saw the inaugural Jaipur BookMark taking place at Nirain Niwas, a new B2B platform for the publishing industry. The event, attended by 80 publishing professionals, took place from January 18-20 and contained several sessions on translation, e-books, distribution and digital content, as well as a discussion with John Makinson, chairman of Penguin Random House and Urvashi Bhutalia of Zubaan Books.

In addition to literature, the JLF Music Stage returned with a popular line-up of musical talent from Sufi to Soul, including Karsh Kale, Kiran Ahluwalia, Midival Punditz and the cream of Rajasthani musicians and dancers, who shared the stage with Grammy Award-winning band Tinariwen. The music programme saw approximately 15,000 people attend the concerts over four nights at Clarks Amer.

The 2015 ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival will take place between January 21-25, 2015 at Diggi Palace.

The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival has William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale as its directors and the festival is produced by Sanjoy K Roy and Sheuli Sethi of Teamwork Productions, the Indian arts management company, for India and the world. Crime Writers’ Association of South Asia (CWASA) launched

New Crime Writing Festival planned for Delhi in September and Norway and Norwegian Crime Writers to be partners of the CWASA.

The Crime Writers’ Association of South Asia (CWASA) was launched at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival by leading novelists Kishwar Desai, Namita Gokhale and Jørn Lier Horst. “A wave of crime writing is better than a wave of crime,” said Namita Gokhale, co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and founding member of the Crime Writers’ Association of South Asia.

The Crime Writers’ Association of South Asia is linked to the Crime Writers’ Association in the UK, which was set up by prolific author John Creasey in 1953. It is also building links to other countries which have a strong base in crime writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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