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Jaipur Literature Festival 2010

Now in its fifth year, DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, an event described by Tina Brown in the Daily Beast as "the greatest literary show on earth" will again play host to authors, publishers, lovers and connoisseurs of books from January 21-25, 2010 at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur, India.

Although only five years old, already Jaipur is the biggest literature festival in Asia and the biggest completely free festival of literature in the world. Besides showcasing the best of Indian-language and English writing from India, the Festival hosts a Nobel laureate, a winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, two Booker winners and five winners of the Pulitzer prize for Literature.

Writers include:

Anne Applebaum is an American historian and journalist who has written extensively on US and international politics, focusing in particular on central Europe and Russia. Her most recent book Gulag: A History won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

Kai Bird is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist, best known for his biographies of political figures. His biographical works include The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy, Brothers in Arms, The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment and Hiroshima's Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy, which he co-edited with Lawrence Lifschultz. Bird and co-author Martin J. Sherwin won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in biography for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. He and Sherwin also won the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for their biography of Oppenheimer. In 2009 they also won the Duff Cooper Prize. Bird's newest book, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978, will be released in April 2010 by Scribner.

Amit Chaudhuri
is, according to the Guardian, ‘one of the leading novelists of his generation'. His latest book The Immortals is his fifth novel, and was Critics' Choice, Best Books of 2009, for the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, and the Irish Times. He was one of the judges of the Man Booker International Prize 2009. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His works include D. H. Lawrence and ‘Difference': Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present, Clearing A Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture. His novels include Afternoon Raag, Freedom Song and A New World.

Steve Coll is President of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. He is the author of six books including On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia; Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize; and The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.
His earlier Pulitzer Prize was for explanatory journalism for his coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels, including The Commitments and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993.  His latest novel, The Dead Republic, will be published in May 2010.  He also writes for children, and has written for the stage and screen.

Anne Enright
is a Booker Prize-winning Irish author whose novel Th e Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize and the 2008 Irish Novel of the Year. Her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore, was published in 1995. A collection of her short stories, The Portable Virgin, won the 1991 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. An influential scholar in the field of African American Studies, he is the author of twelve books and has hosted and produced nine documentaries for PBS and the BBC. He was named to Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans" list in 1997 and to Ebony magazine's "Power 150" list in 2009. His books include Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars, The African American Century, and Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own. Works he has edited include The Bondwoman's Narrative, The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin and Lincoln on Race and Slavery.

Tania James has had stories published in One Story magazine, Guernica, and Elle India.  Her debut novel Atlas of Unknowns was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and an Editor's Choice for The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times.

John Kampfner
's latest book is Freedom For Sale, which looks at the global trade-off between liberty and money and security. He is Chief Executive of the free expression organization, Index on Censorship, and Chairman of Turner Contemporary, a major new UK art gallery. A long-standing journalist and broadcaster, he was Editor of the New Statesman from 2005-08.

Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John's, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and My Favorite Plant, among others.  In 2009 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Amitava Kumar is the author of several works of literary non-fiction, including Husband of a Fanatic, which was an Editor's Choice book at the New York Times. His novel Home Products was a finalist for the Vodafone Crossword Award. Kumar's latest book, Evidence of Suspicion, soon to be published by Picador India, is a writer's report on the global war on terror.

Hanif Kureishi
is the author of numerous novels, short story collections, screenplays and plays. In 1984 he wrote My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. His second film, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, was followed by London Kills Me, which he also directed. The Buddha of Suburbia won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel in 1990 and was made into a four-part drama series by the BBC. Intimacy, his third novel, was published in 1998, and was adapted for film in 2001. The film Venus, directed by Roger Michell, won Peter O'Toole a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. His latest novel, Something To Tell You was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts des Lettres and a CBE for services to literature.

Sadia Shepard is a writer and documentary filmmaker whose memoir The Girl from Foreign was published in 2008. Shepard's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Indian Express. As a film producer, her credits include The September Issue, a portrait of Anna Wintour and the making of Vogue, which won the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She teaches non-fiction writing at Columbia University.

Wole Soyinka
, playwright, poet, novelist and essayist, is a Yoruba from Nigeria, and  is also active on Human Rights issues, in whose cause he serves on a number of international organizations. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the first African to be so honored. His novels are The Interpreters and Season of Anomie. His plays include The Swamp Dwellers, The Trials of Brother Jero, A Dance of the Forests, The Bacchae of Euripides and Requiem for a Futurologist. Some of his poetry collections are A Big Airplane Crashed Into The Earth (original title Poems from Prison) and Mandela's Earth and other poems.

Ma Thida writes fiction, is a human rights activist, and a practicing surgeon from Myanmar/Burma. Thida is a prolific writer of many articles and stories about the damage done to her country by successive repressive regimes. She is the author of the books The Sunflower and In the Shade of an Indian Almond Tree, among others.

Claire Tomalin
is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys, Mary Wollstonecraft and Katherine Mansfield. She has won many prizes like the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for biography), the NCR Book Award and the Hawthornden Prize. Her biography of the 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys won the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year. Her book Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Biography of the Year.

Gita Wolf originally prepared for academic life by studying English and Comparative Literature. But she decided to write and publish books for children, partly as a result of her own difficulties as a mother with finding good material written in Tamil for her own children.  She founded Tara Publishing in 1994, and has since written and published many award winning books.  Her first book, Mala, A Woman's Folktale, explored gender. Her later works include The Legend of the Fish, Tiger on a Tree, and The Flight of the Mermaid.

Other speakers and panelists include: Tina Brown, Niall Ferguson, Roberto Calasso, Vikram Chandra, Mahasweta Devi, Shobhaa De Indira Goswami, Krishna Sobti, Krishna Baldev Vaid, Pavan Varma, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, and Kishwar Desai.

Highlights include readings from Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq by acclaimed actor Om Puri, performances by Titi Robin, Cheb I Sabbah, Susheela Raman, Djaima, Rajasthan Roots and Paban Das Baul, and readings and performances from William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives.

Some of the sessions:

Henry Louis Gates sits with Wole Soyinka for Figures in Black
Hanif Kureishi is joined by Roddy Doyle and Stephen Frears for The Director’s Cut

Also included:

The Art of Criticism
Bhasha Swar: Multiple Voices
Travels with a Typewriter
Outcaste: The Search for Public Conscience
In Search of Sita
The Queen’s Hinglish
Bin Laden After Bush
The Art of the Anti-Thriller
A Writer’s Diaries
The Myth about Short Stories


For more information, visit www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org.

Jaipur Literature Festival
January 21-25, 2010
Diggi Palace
Jaipur, India

2009 Provocative Thinkers in Science Series

The 2009 Provocative Thinkers in Science Series, a set of five evening events, brings together world-renowned scientists to explain cutting-edge topics in science to a lay public audience.

 It will be held on weeknights this September through December, 2009. Richard Dawkins

Says Adrienne Burke, Executive Editor of Science & the City, "Now in its third season, the Science & the City event series serves the Academy's mission to promote the understanding of science in society. This fall our audiences will have the chance to engage with some of the most fascinating minds in research and learn about science that is changing the world, and our understanding of it."

Science & the City events are held in the evenings in the Academy's conference center on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center. Wine and cheese receptions and book-signings take place following each lecture.

Read more: 2009 Provocative Thinkers in...

Brooklyn Book Festival Joins Forces With New York Comic Con

This year’s Brooklyn Book Festival will again feature a literary marketplace with more than 150 booksellers, publishers and literary organizations in Borough Hall Plaza as well as panel discussions and readings, a children’s authors stage and special programming for teens and exhibitors that will include bookstores, publishers and literary organizations. Readings are held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, in Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park, at St. Francis College and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Programming will include fiction, nonfiction and poetry panels on hot topics such as:

“The International Graphic Novel,” featuring Guy Delisle (The Burma Chronicles), Peter Kuper (Diario de Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico), and Sarah Glidden (How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less), moderated by Matt Madden

“The Great Recession” (featuring Justin Fox, Naomi Klein, Kai Wright and moderator Errol Louis of the New York Daily News)
“The Naked City: Urban Realism and the Global City in Fiction & Non-Fiction” (featuring David Lida, Meera Nair, Hirsh Sawhney and moderator Cheryl Harris Sharman

“Literature in a Digital Age” (John Freeman, Dwight Garner, Sarah Schmelling)

“Poetry, Pop and Hip-Hop” (Lupe Fiasco, Thurston Moore, Tracie Morris, Matthew Zapruder and moderator Touré)

“PSA Presents” (a reading by the nation’s oldest poetry organization, featuring some of the country’s best bards, including Anne Carson, Sonia Sanchez, Philip Schultz, Arthur Sze and Alice Quinn).

Confirmed authors include:
Nelson George
Jonathan Ames
Paul Auster
Staceyann Chin
Guy Delisle
Lupe Fiasco
Edwidge Danticat
Rawi Hage
Tao Lin
Jonathan Lethem
Colson Whitehead
David Lida
Matt Madden
Thurston Moore
Gary Shteyngart
Melvin Van Peebles
Sherman Alexie
M.T. Anderson
Naomi Klein
Danica Novgorodoff
Esmeralda Santiago
George O’Connor
Raina Telgemeier
Jessica Abel
Nick Bruel
Peter and Randall de Seve
Christopher Myers
Tom Tomorrow
Mo Willems
Russell Banks
Kate DiCamillo
Cynthia Ozick
Anne Carson
A.M. Homes
David Cross
Mary Gaitskill
Oliver Sacks
Nelson George
Amy Sohn
Jeffrey Rotter
Keith Gessen
Greg Milner
Francine Prose
and more.

The 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival is presented by Brooklyn Tourism and the Brooklyn Literary Council, initiatives of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Sponsors include the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation; the NYC & Company Foundation; New York Comic Con; Astoria Federal Savings; Citi; Boar’s Head Provisions; the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge; and Time Out New York, media sponsor again this year.

Cultural partners are BAM; the Brooklyn Historical Society; Brooklyn Public Library; and the National Book Foundation. Programming partners include Housing Works Bookstore Café; PEN American Center; Poetry Society of America; The New York Review of Books; St. Francis College; and The Nation.

For more information about the Brooklyn Book Festival, visit www.visitbrooklyn.org or check out the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Book-Festival-Official-Site/20650359836. On Twitter, follow the Brooklyn Book Festival at bkbf.

The 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival is presented by Brooklyn Tourism and the Brooklyn Literary Council, initiatives of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Sponsors include the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation; the NYC & Company Foundation; New York Comic Con; Astoria Federal Savings; Citi; Boar’s Head Provisions; the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge; and Time Out New York, media sponsor again this year. Cultural partners are BAM; the Brooklyn Historical Society; Brooklyn Public Library; and the National Book Foundation. Programming partners include Housing Works Bookstore Café; PEN American Center; Poetry Society of America; The New York Review of Books; St. Francis College; and The Nation.

For comics exhibitors and vendors, the NYCC programming area will provide a unique opportunity for them to not only have a home that attracts like-minded customers and fans, but to have a central location where new fans and readers can check out the latest in comics and pop culture entertainment.  Comic book writer and editor Denny O’Neil, creator Phil Jimenez, and writer and editor Tom DeFalco are just a few of the many popular guests who will appear in the NYCC programming area. 

In addition to guest speakers, NYCC’s diverse Brooklyn Book Festival programming includes Hip Hop Hearts Anime, a live-performance featuring local DJs which focuses on the intermixing of American hip hop culture and Japanese anime.  Some of the companies who will be participating include Captain Action, Midtown Comics, Moonstone Publishing, and Disney Publishing. An additional announcement with more guest names and participating companies will be made in the near future.     

"The Brooklyn Book Festival is an awesome gathering and I have had tremendous respect for the festival from the moment it started,” notes Lance Fensterman, Vice President and Show Manager for New York Comic Con. “We are proud to bring an intense graphic lit and pop culture presence to such a great festival. I am sure this will provide our customers with the opportunity to connect directly with lots of new fans.  Plus, it’s all for free!  This is a win-win in every respect.”
 
“These days, Brooklyn is a hotbed of pop culture, high-tech culture, literary and blog culture, ethnic culture, indie culture, and has basically become an international hub for in-your-face creativity,” says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “It’s only fitting that the Brooklyn Book Festival would form a dynamic duo with New York Comic Con!”

The renowned Brooklyn Book Festival and New York Comic Con (NYCC) announce that the premiere pop culture convention and its stars will have a powerful presence at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival, which the L.A. Times has called “the center of the literary universe.” NYCC will have its own colorful and exciting programming area at the free Festival, which draws nearly 30,000 visitors to experience readings and panels featuring international literary superstars, buzzworthy newcomers and more than 150 booksellers, publishers, independent presses and literary organizations in a bustling literary marketplace.

NYCC’s programming area at the Brooklyn Book Festival will include a performance tent, guest presentations, guest autographing sessions and a dedicated marketplace area.  NYCC’s participation will be a positive way to spread further awareness of comics and graphic literature while providing free interaction and entertainment for thousands of NYCC fans. 

The next NYCC will take place October 8 – 10, 2010 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Ranked by Crain's New York Business as the second-largest annual event in NYC, it has grown from a convention that attracted 33,000 visitors when it was launched in 2006 to a show that will occupy the entire Javits Center and will attract well over 75,000 fans in 2010. 

For more information about the Brooklyn Book Festival, go to: www.visitbrooklyn.org or check out the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Book-Festival-Official-Site/20650359836.

On Twitter, follow the Brooklyn Book Festival at bkbf.

Brooklyn Book Festival
Borough Hall Plaza

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Bach & Beethoven at Lincoln Center


A new year of orchestral music in New York opened splendidly with its first significant concert of the year, the much awaited return—on the afternoon of Sunday, January 14th, to David Geffen Hall—of the incomparable Budapest Festival Orchestra under the brilliant direction of Iván Fischer, presented as part of the Great Performers series of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The house was surprisingly full with few empty seats in the orchestra, despite the bitterly cold weather, attesting perhaps to the reverence with which these musicians are held.


The somewhat heterogeneous program began wonderfully with a sterling account of Johann Sebastian Bach's popular and marvelous Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, played here by a small ensemble on period instruments with the maestro conducting from the keyboard and featuring Gabriella Pivon on the transverse flute—it would nonetheless have been exciting to hear this work as transcribed for the entire orchestra.

The impressive soloist Dénes Várjon then took the stage for what may be the finest rendition I have yet heard in the concert hall of Ludwig van Beethoven’s equally celebrated Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, with the artist playing the composer’s cadenzas. An enthusiastic ovation elicited a terrific encore: the beautiful Three Hungarian Folksongs from Csik by Béla Bartók.

The second half of the program was even more memorable, devoted to an extraordinary realization of the magnificent Symphony No. 2 of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Spirited applause was answered by Fischer, always generous with encores, with a delightful surprise: an arrangement for orchestra and voices of the famous and lovely Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14, by the same composer. I look forward to the next appearance of this glorious ensemble.

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