Jaipur Festival’s Who’s Who

From Outlook India:

Bhutto Gore Vidal, Ian McEwan, Fatima Bhutto, Dev Anand, Kamila Shamsie, Aamir Khan, Indra Sinha, Manil Suri, William Dalrymple, Aparna Sen, Gurcharan Das, Donna Tartt, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, Nayantara Sahgal, Kunal Basu, Jaishree Misra, Mahesh Dattani, U.R. Ananthamurthy, Namita Devidayal, Uday Prakash, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Anoushka Shankar, Anita Nair, Sudha Murthy, Moni Mohsin, Miranda Seymour, Ambarish Satwick, Pavan Varma, Arun Maira, Tishani Doshi, Sarnath Banerjee, Ira Pande, David Godwin, Jeet Thayil, Aruna Roy, Shahbano Bilgrami, Christopher Hampton, Himanshu Joshi

Literary agent Mita Kapur, one of the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, has never felt more like a harassed travel agent. For a litfest that started with a single writer addressing a dozen readers in a poky little room at the local university four years ago, the Jaipur litfest has come a long way. This year, for example, the litfest has not only managed to raise over Rs 1.35 crore from a variety of sponsors, including banks, breweries, airlines and a construction company, but has also bagged two of the world’s best-known literary stars: Gore Vidal and Ian McEwan, besides nearly a hundred writers from the subcontinent, and publishers and agents from India as well as UK, France, Norway and China.

Just how irresistible this mix of work and play has proved is apparent from the steady stream of inquiries still pouring in at the festival headquarters in Jaipur. Among the last-minute confirmations are Fatima Bhutto and Aamir Khan. Several more, including Indra Sinha, Kamila Shamsie, music memoirist Namita Devidayal and ‘tree man’ Pradip Krishen were squeezed into parallel events at a newly-sponsored tent by Outlook for readings. Dozens of writers who wanted to be part of the programme had to be turned away with a promise to be accommodated next year. Dozens more, including Amartya Sen and Ramachandra Guha, decided to take rain checks for next year because of their schedules. It has turned out to be the season’s most fashionable squeeze.

More here.