Jaipur Literature Festival

September 28, 2019

September 29, 2019


The Distillery Historic District, Toronto



Events Description

Set to take place at Toronto’s Distillery Historic District – one of Canada’s premier arts, culture and entertainment destinations with charming cobbled streets, artists’ studios, cafes, galleries, and the dynamic Young Centre for the Performing Arts – JLF Toronto recreates the magnificent spirit of Jaipur’s annual literary carnival bringing its inclusive and infectious camaraderie to the vibrant capital of Ontario with a heady mix of writers, thinkers, poets, balladeers, and raconteurs.

Uniting internationally-acclaimed authors on a single stage, JLF Toronto will provide world-renowned writers with a unique platform to participate in cross-cultural conversations on an array of topics, including the arts, politics, environment, economics, gender issues, and more.

A range of interesting sessions await attendees including The Comeback with John Ralston Saul, author, essayist, and former president of International PEN, highlighting the Indigenous peoples of Canada, who have been making a remarkable comeback to positions of power, influence, and creativity in Canadian civilization.

Bestselling writer, politician, and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor, author of Inglorious Empire, examines the colonial project in its larger scope and the legacies of the Empire over which “the sun never set”. In the session Inglorious Empire, Tharoor talks about the lingering effects of colonization, both ill and good, those that remain and persist.

Call Me by Your Name features memoirist, essayist and New York Times bestselling novelist, André Aciman, the author of Call Me by Your Name which was adapted into a widely acclaimed film in 2017 and named one of the top ten films of the year by the American Film Institute.

Renowned travel writer, Pico Iyer discusses his latest book on Japan titled Autumn Light; he also features on the Travel Session with André Aciman, Suketu Mehta and Festival Co- Director William Dalrymple discussing travel writing, one of the most ancient forms of literature, and its relevance in the age of globalization, travel technology, and space cruises.

In Slumdog Millionaire, diplomat Vikas Swarup, the current Indian High Commissioner to Canada, discusses his first novel Q&A which went on to become the runaway hit Slumdog Millionaire that won eight Academy Awards in 2009.

At a time when women are increasingly reclaiming their narratives, Vanessa R. Sasson and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni resurrect the stories of Yasodhara, the wife of the Gautam Buddha, the father of Buddhism, and Sita, female protagonist of the ancient Indian epic The Ramayana. The Sacred Feminine: Relooking Yashodhara and Sita discusses these often- sidelined characters and how they voice their joys and sorrows, agonies and triumphs, heartbreaks and resilience.

Other sessions include These Lands We Call Home, an impassioned session about the contemporary issues faced by indigenous peoples, First Nations, and immigrants; Aladdin and Other Marvellous Tales featuring writer and translator Paulo Lemos Horta, author of Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights; a conversation on the democratic principles in The Democracy Index with Navin Chawla, former Chief Election Commissioner of India and author of several books, including Every Vote Counts; and We Shall Not Hate featuring Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor, whose three daughters were killed during the Israeli incursion into Gaza, who advocates for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine in his book I Shall Not Hate.

Festival highlights:

Festival speakers include acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer, New York Times bestselling novelist André Aciman, former diplomats Shashi Tharoor and Navin Chawla, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, H.E. Vikas Swarup, and writers MG Vassanji, John Ralston Saul, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and Izzeldin Abuelaish, among others.

– Opening Gala on Friday, September 27th
– Keynote address by William Dalrymple
– Literature Sessions at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday,
September 28th
– A specially-curated lunch at one of Distillery Historic District’s acclaimed
– A vibrant, outdoor street festival and marketplace featuring artisan vendors, culinary delights, pop-up performances and art installations, on Trinity Street on Saturday and Sunday.

Who is it for?
All ages


Date & Time: Saturday, September 28 10:30am to Sunday, September 29 5:00pm. – Schedule

JLF Toronto 2019 Outdoor Street Festival and Market Place; with author sessions and Young Centre for the Performing Arts available at $10/session.

Venue: The Distillery District

No parking
Public transport accessible

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