Jaipur hosts Asia's biggest literary festival

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Jaipur, Jan 21 (ANI): Over 190 writers from 30 countries have gathered here for a five-day literary festival.

The festival is being held at Diggi Palace, a sprawling 19th century mansion.

The festival which is considered as Asia's biggest literary festival and promises to be packed with readings, discussions and debate, besides musical performances.

Many first-time author-attendees have said they are enjoying the experience.

"...To refresh ourselves intellectually and emotionally. We have to be careful not to go to too many events, we have to choose them carefully," said British playwright Louise Doughty.

Now in its fifth year, the event will see literati rubbing shoulders with glitterati.

Some of the writers participating include Alexander McCall Smith, Mahasweta Devi, Wole Soyinka, Devdutt Patnaik, Roberto Calasso, Vikram Chandra, Hanif Kureishi and Louis de Bernihres.

Bollywood actors Rahul Bose and Om Puri, and Shabana Azmi, and British filmmaker Stephen Frears are among the other attending.

Many authors agreed that the Jaipur Literature Festival is a unique meeting place for writers across countries, cultures and languages.

"One thing is that we get to meet writers who we wouldn't come across everyday. We meet writers who write in different languages, which is great. There are a lot of book fairs in India, but nothing of this scale, which is one of a kind," said poet and author Gulzar.

Last year, the festival played host to more than 100 writers and attracted 20,000 visitors.

The event has put Jaipur, a popular tourist destination, on the literary map. By Lokendra Singh(ANI)

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