JLF at the British Library: Sunday Pass


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All day Sunday at the London edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur Literature Festival is now sold out

A small number of tickets are available on the door only for today’s event so please do come along

At the Library JLF Sunday Passes allow in-person access to any of the sessions on Sunday 12 June subject to venue capacity. SEATING IN VENUES IS LIMITED AND YOU ARE ADVISED TO ARRIVE EARLY FOR THE SESSIONS OF YOUR CHOICE.

Many of the sessions will be simultaneously be live-streamed on the British Library platform. JLF Online Sunday Passes will allow access to all live-streamed sessions, to watch either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links for sessions will be sent out by email shortly before each one commences.

We are delighted to announce the return of JLF – the London edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival – to the British Library. JLF animates the Library with words, books, music, food and camaraderie, as a packed programme of talks and discussions unfolds in our Piazza Pavilion, Mughal Courtyard and Durbar Theatre venues.

Sunday's speakers include Ramchandra Guha, William Dalrymple, Namita Gokhale, Gwendolyn Riley, Pallavi Aiyar, Colin Thubron Anthony Sattin, Shrabani Basu, Karan Thapar, Anjana Menon, Selma Carvalho, AA Dhand, Sonia Faleiro Remo Fernandes, Sanjoy K Roy, Nikesh Shukla, Simone Sultana, Lyn Innes, Mukulika Banerjee, Bee Rowlatt and Arunava Sinha.

Programme may be subject to change. Please check back for latest updates.

Sunday Programme

10:00 Registration opens. Please pick up your wristbands for the day.

Morning Music: Ashish Dharamadhikari

10:30 – 11:00 Piazza Pavilion


The Road Home

Anjana Menon and Selma Carvalho in conversation with Jaishree Misra
11:15 – 12:15 Piazza Pavilion
In The Road Home, two writers lead us to their roots, in Goa and Kerala. Selma Carvalho’s debut novel, Sisterhood of Swans, depicts the troubled coming of age of a second-generation Indian immigrant in London. Carvalho is the author of Baker Butcher Doctor Diplomat: Goan Pioneers of East Africa, A Railway Runs Through: Goans of British East Africa and Into the Diaspora Wilderness. Her writing explores themes of migration, feminism, morality and the subject of the Goan diaspora. Journalist and writer, Anjana Menon, flew home to Thrissur, Kerala, as the Covid-19 crisis loomed large. She intended to be home only for a month or two but stayed seven and in this time her book Onam in A Nightie: Stories from a Kerala Quarantine was born, composed of episodes of everyday life. Carvalho and Menon discuss the process of capturing Goa and Kerala, the sanctuary and symbolism of home in conversation with writer Jaishree Misra.


Rebels and the Raj

Ramachandra Guha in conversation with William Dalrymple
11:15 – 12:15 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
In Rebels against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom, historian and writer, Ramachandra Guha, chronicles the unexplored narratives of seven people who fought for the end of imperial rule between the late 19th and early 20th century. Motivated by idealism and genuine sacrifice, each connected to Gandhi and representing diverse schools of thought, they risked fatal punishment for their activism, even as they made invaluable contributions to India's Independence struggle. In conversation with writer, historian and Festival Co-Director, William Dalrymple, Guha unveils these remarkable figures of India's history and their profound impact in the fields of journalism, social reform, education and environmentalism.


Foremothers: Of Matriarchs and Memories

Bee Rowlatt, Gwendoline Riley and Namita Gokhale in conversation
12:30 – 13:30 Piazza Pavilion
Foremothers are the crucible of our worlds. Award-winning writer and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale’s recent novel, The Blind Matriarch, unravels the facets of an Indian joint family, its history and the inner lives of members, against the indistinct, yet omnipresent gaze of the eponymous matriarch who carries the torch of many generations and destinies. Writer and journalist Bee Rowlatt’s acclaimed biography, In Search of Mary, follows an extraordinary trail through Norway set over 200 years ago by the legendary writer, philosopher and advocate for the rights of women, Mary Wollstonecraft . Celebrated novelist Gwendoline Riley’s gripping work, My Phantoms, explores dysfunctional familial bonds, stories of separation, resentment, and phantoms of the past that haunt a strained mother-daughter relationship. A session that looks across generations, at history, the pages of fiction and lived experience.


New Media: The Slipstream of Information

Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra and Andrew Whitehead in conversation with Rita Payne
12:30 – 13:30 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
The evolving role of new media is the subject of much study, scrutiny and self examination. At a time when freedom of reach has become as important as freedom of speech, a diverse panel explores the role and responsibilities of the media and the new communications in our times.


Black Ghost of Empire

Kris Manjapra in conversation with Yasmin Khan
12:30 – 13:30 Mughal Courtyard
In the revelatory historical indictment of the afterlife of slavery in the Atlantic world, Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emanicpation, Kris Manjapra unearths the disturbing truth of the Age of Emancipations (1780 - 1880), the neglected yet crucial roles of Black aboloitonists and rebellions, and the catacombs of a glossed history that affect the world even today. An acclaimed academic and writer, Manjapra explores the intersection of transnational history and the critical study of race and colonialism. In conversation with academic and author Yasmin Khan, he discusses the supposed death of slavery and modern paradigms.


Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation

Leesa Gazi and Simone Sultana in conversation with Arunava Sinha The Bangladesh
13:45 – 14:45 Piazza Pavilion
Liberation War in 1971 birthed a vibrant new democracy. 50 years after the momentous event, a panel which examines the cultural, social and historical dynamics that have formed the roots of this nation and their vision of its future. British-Bangaldeshi writer, actor and filmmaker, Leesa Gazi’s father was a freedom fighter. Her documentary award-winning documentary film, Rising Silence, is about the women that were sexually assaulted during the Liberation War and the novel Hellfire is an uncomprosing critique of patriarchal norms and generational cycles in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi-British economist and photographer, Simone Sultana’s family too supported the Liberation Movement and moved to London to escape persecution during the War. In conversation with prolific writer, translator and academic, Arunava Sinha, they take a deep look at the past, present and future of Bangladesh.


Travel Session

Supported by the British Council.

Pallavi Aiyar, Colin Thubron, Tharik Hussain and Anthony Sattin in conversation with William Dalrymple
13:45 – 14:45 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Travel writing is among the most ancient forms of literature. It allows invaluable social, cultural and political insight. It can signify personal journeys and growth, the intricate histories of places and peoples, and even the power and limits of the mind. Pallavi Aiyar, Colin Thubron, Tharik Hussain and Anthony Sattin discuss their work, inspirations and choice genre with writer, historian and Festival Co-Director, William Dalrymple.


The Last Prince of Bengal

Lyn Innes in conversation with Shrabani Basu
13:45 – 14:45 Mughal Courtyard
The Nawab Nazim was born into one of the most powerful royal families in India’s history, with a kingdom that ranged from the great Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. Seen as a threat by British authorities, he was forced to abdicate in 1880, marking a significant historical turn and changed fortunes for his secret English family. Lyn Innes tells the bitter-sweet history of her great-grandfather and ancestors who journeyed from royalty to relative anonymity in the captivating book, The Last Prince of Bengal: A Family's Journey from an Indian Palace to the Australian Outback. In conversation with author and journalist Shrabani Basu, Innes discusses the intimate story of a family connected to sweeping events in Indian, British and Australian history.


Hawk and Hyena: What Really Happened to the Serpent

Farrukh Dhondy in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy
15:00 – 16:00 Piazza Pavilion
“My name is Charles Sobhraj, you might have heard of me”, said the notorious ‘serpent’ or ‘bikini killer’ in 1997 to writer and television mogul, Farrukh Dhondy. Over the next years, Dhondy made the serial killer’s acquaintance, tracked his movements across the world, his degraded and violent life, and the most sensational series of events. His recent book, Hawk and Hyena: What Really Happened to the Serpent, pieces together the radical true story of Charles Sobhraj. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, Dhondy discusses the process of depicting a nearly unimaginable narrative, his motivations as a storyteller, and the intersections of life, death, murder, morality and punishment.


Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain

Sathnam Sanghera in conversation with Yasmin Khan
15:00 – 16:00 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
A session that explores the reality and legacy of the British Empire. Sathnam Sanghera’s latest book, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain, is a brilliant commentary on the painful history large parts of the world share. Sanghera’s narrative focuses on the importance of accepting Britain’s imperial past in order to understand its present and future. In conversation with academic and writer, Yasmin Khan, Sanghera explores why the existence of the British Empire is often 'forgotten' in Modern Britain and underscores the importance of confronting a deeply troubled past.



Anthony Sattin in conversation
15:00 – 16:00 Mughal Courtyard
Nomadic peoples are often relegated to the margins of historical study. In the ground breaking book, Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World, award-winning journalist and writer, Anthony Sattin redirects ideas of civilisation and the course of history to the ‘outsiders’. In this saga of mobile cultures and empires that espoused plurality, tolerance, the freedom of conscience and movement, the arts and sciences, and unyielding respect for the natural world, he ties global history and contemporary iterations to the power of nomadism. Sattin discusses his remarkable work and transformative ideas of the past and present.


Murder, They Wrote

AA Dhand, Shrabani Basu and Sonia Faleiro in conversation with Nikesh Shukla
16:15 – 17:15 Piazza Pavilion
Three British-Asian writers come together to discuss the innards of detective fiction and crime writing. Bestselling writer A A Dhand’s crime fiction series, the Harry Virdee, novels follow the story of the eponymous British-Sikh detective in Bradford’s West Yorkshire city. A character informed by the Bradford race riots of 2001, Virdee navigates the webs of cultural identity, violence and exploitation. Sonia Faleiro’s book of true crime, The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing, longlisted for the 2022 ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, examines the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls, underpinned by caste and gender violence. Author, journalist and historian, Shrabani Basu’s latest book, The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer: Arthur Conan Doyle, George Edalji and the Case of the Foreigner in the English Village is a fascinating account of how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle personally investigated the case of a falsely implicated Indian lawyer. A session that examines how society and its faultlines find a voice in noir writing in conversation with celebrated writer Nikesh Shukla.


The Company Quartet

William Dalrymple in conversation with Shashi Tharoor
16:15 – 17:15 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
William Dalrymple’s multi-award-winning histories, The Anarchy, White Mughals, Return of a King and The Last Mughal, comprise the essential collection, The Company Quartet. A culmination of two decades of meticulous research and masterful narration, The Company Quartet tells a comprehensive story of British Imperialism and the conquest of India. How did a dangerously unregulated private company come to be the first global corporate power? In conversation with bestselling writer and politician, Shashi Tharoor, Dalrymple unravels two hundred years of colonial history, covert political machinations and bloody resistance - the rise and fall of the East India Company.


Voices of Faith: The Spirit of Sufi Poetry

Saif Mahmood in conversation with Mohini Gupta
Presented by the Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust
16:15 – 17:15 Mughal Courtyard
Join author, translator and raconteur Saif Mahmood in a conversation with translator and academic Mohini Gupta, on a journey traversing the cultural landscape of Sufi poetry in the subcontinent. This session will bring out the essence of Sufi poetry and thought through readings and discussions, and invite the audience to appreciate the inherent beauty and complexities of the genre.


Your Story Matters

Nikesh Shukla in conversation with Nikita Gill.
17:30 – 18:30 Piazza Pavilion
Nikesh Shukla’s writing focuses on race, racism, identity and immigration. Author of the acclaimed Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home and the novels Coconut Unlimited and Meatspace, he shares his wealth of experience as a writer, how to tell your story in your own unique narrative voice, in the empowering guide Your Story Matters: Find Your Voice, Sharpen Your Skills, Tell Your Story. Shukla is one of the most passionate voices on issues of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the arts. He shares essential advice and discusses his own life and inspirations, ground breaking career, the power of stories and the chance to tell them in a conversation with writer, poet and performer Nikita Gill.


Being Remo

Remo Fernandes in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy.

Legendary musician Remo Fernandes is an icon of his generation.
17:30 – 18:30 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
His personal and professional triumphs and challenges come together in the kaleidoscopic book, Remo: The Autobiography of Remo Fernandes. In this “story of brave dreams and musical passions”, Remo takes us along an exhilarating journey, from distributing home-produced albums on a scooter in the 80s to becoming a national sensation. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, Remo discusses his deeply compelling, honest and vivid memoir, and a life in pursuit of his greatest loves - music, art, writing and home, Goa.


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Name: JLF at the British Library: Sunday Pass
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546