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Jaipur Literature Fest closes, leaving impact beyond the Pink City

Held between 17 and 21 January, India's Jaipur Literature Festival witnessed huge turnouts and a large number of notables from the literary world

Ati Metwaly, Wednesday 22 Jan 2014
Jaipur Literature Festival
Jaipur Literature Festival (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
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On Tuesday, 21 January, the seventh edition of ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), the world’s largest free literary festival, closed, after five days filled with panel discussions and hosting over 240 Indian and international novelists, poets, playwrights, translators, editors and journalists, along with many economists, historians, film producers, theatre makers and musicians.  

According to the official press release of JLF organisers, in which they presented this year's achievements, the festival witnessed a record number of visits with total attendee numbers close to 220,000.

Sunday, 19 January, proved to be the most popular day, with 75,000 attendees, "the highest number of daily visits ever recorded at ZEE JLF."

The same press release points also to notable participants in this year's festival, including, "Nobel laureates (Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus), four Booker authors (Jim Crace, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tash Aw and Alison MacLeod), 20 different Indian and world languages, and one Grammy-award winning band (Tinariwen)."

A bookstore set up at the festival's grounds has reportedly sold "10,000 books from their 700 titles on offer."

A special inaugural event, BookMark, an offspring of the Jaipur Festival, was "attended by 80 publishing professionals," taking place from 18-20 January, 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 Butalia."

The music line-up included performances from Sufi to Soul, with Grammy Award-winning band Tinariwen among the large number musicians.  

"The 2015 ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival has been confirmed for 21-25 January 2015 at Diggi Palace," the press release concludes.

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