US edition of Jaipur literature festival begins on Saturday

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The JLF will make its debut in the US with its first overseas edition beginning on Saturday in Boulder, Colorado.

The two-day festival, which the organisers like to call it as the “greatest literary show on earth”, will feature more than 100 notable writers, thinkers, poets and performers.

For Sanjay K. Roy, the producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, zeroing in on Boulder came about by accident.Roy said, “I received the proposal to hold JLF in Boulder from Buddhist scholars Jules Levinson and Maruta Kalnins. But I had no idea of the place and later I discovered that it’s a beautiful city with full of literature-loving people.”

Boulder, famous for its colorful Western history, being a choice destination for hippies in the late 1960s, is also home for the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state’s largest.

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The Rocky Mountains have also played a major role as a crucial migration route, which was important to the spread of people throughout the Americas.

Roy added that that keeping with the deep-rooted Native American sensibilities of the state, the event will have a strong focus on Latino, African American, Asian American and regional literature.

Tagged JLF@Boulder, the festival will bring together Indian-American, Asian and Latin American authors to explore a variety of literary topics and themes of local and international interest.

Author Namita Gokhale, the co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said that she is thrilled to take JLF to Boulder.

“I am deeply excited at the opportunity to read and understand American literature from a different perspective reading up on Mexican, Latino, Native American writers, and a load of new books on subjects as diverse as neuroscience and family phantoms. It’s a unique learning experience and I feel blessed and privileged to be a part of the programming process for Jaipur at Boulder,” Gokhale was quoted as saying.

The festival will feature international best-selling author Jung Chang, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri, Moroccan-American essayist and novelist Laila Lalami, Israeli journalist, political commentator and author Gideon Levy, Chinese-American best-selling author Anchee Min, and journalist, historian and award-winning author Simon Sebag-Montefiore.

Vouching that the basic spirit of the JLF will be mirrored at its Boulder edition, Gokhale said that it promises democratic platform. She added, “The event will provide a democratic and free-flowing platform for books, ideas, poetry and music. Like Jaipur, it will be deeply grounded and cosmopolitan, with a wide diversity of participants and audiences. The spontaneity and synchronicity with which Jaipur at Boulder is happening holds the promise of wonderful things to come.”

The topics likely to be discussed includes migration, politics and conflict, environmental concerns and Native American voices.

William Dalrymple, the author and co-director of the JLF  said, “Boulder is a long way from Jaipur, and we are proud to erect our literary ‘Big Top’ in town and to bring the energy, sparkle and brilliance of Indian writing to a very different world.”

The event, to be held at the Boulder Public Library and the scenic Civic Lawns will feature interviews, panel discussions and audience interaction.

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