The exhilarating energy of the Jaipur Literature Festival returns to Houston this year to celebrate the unique culture, diversity, and energy of the Bayou City. Join Teamwork Arts, the producer of JLF Houston, for a weekend of live in-person programs that showcase South Asia’s rich literary and oral heritage, while also featuring authors from around the world as well as local literary figures. The 5th edition JLF Houston is scheduled to take place on September 9-10 and is presented in association with the Consulate General of India, Asia Society Texas, and Inprint.
SCHEDULE FOR DAY 2
Morning Music followed by Book Release
10 – 10: 45 am, Brown Foundation Theatre
Shastras: A Journey Through Indian Music History Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao
Internationally acclaimed performers, composers, cultural entrepreneurs and music educators Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Cello Virtuoso Saskia Rao-de Haas carry Indian music towards new horizons with their strong belief in the unifying power of music. Their effortless musical communication and improvisation is a joyful experience for listeners who are spellbound by the energy and freshness that they bring to their performance.
The Writer’s Life
11 – 11:45 am, Brown Foundation Theatre
Chitra Divakaruni in conversation with Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan
Presented by Durga & Sushila Agrawal
A session that explores the intangibles of memory and the texture of lived life through the writing of Chitra Divakaruni. Divakaruni is an award-winning writer, activist and teacher, and the author of books such as Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Before We Visit the Goddess, Palace of Illusions, The Forest of Enchantments, and most recently, The Last Queen. In conversation with academic and writer Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, Divakaruni gives us a peek into the many words, legacies and memories that have formed her writing practice.
Water Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop To Drink
12 – 12:45 pm, Brown Foundation Theatre
Varsha Bajaj in conversation with Andrea White
A session spanning continents, looking at the repercussions of climate change and the misuse of water. Varsha Bajaj’s recent book, Thirst, is a poignant take on class, wealth and equity around the disparity of water in the suburbs of Mumbai, India. In conversation with writer and civil leader Andrea White, Bajaj discusses the asymmetrical patterns of resource access in a parched world.
Inner Aesthetics: The Spirit & Culture of Creativity
1 – 1:45 pm Brown Foundation Theatre
Roberto Tejada and Arundhathi Subramaniam in conversation with Rich Levy
Two celebrated poets take us on a journey through their work in a session of reading, poetry and prose. Award-winning poet, translator, and art historian Roberto Tejada’s powerful poetry collection, Why the Assembly Disbanded, pushes the boundaries of Latinx literature and masterfully relates the ravages of white supremacy with immigrant precarity and the question of home. Celebrated Indian poet and author Arundhathi Subramaniam’s poetry collection, Love Without a Story, celebrates an expanding kinship of passion and friendship, mythic quest and modern-day longing in a world animated by dialogue and dissent, delirium and silence.
The Big Bang of Numbers
2 – 2:45 pm, Brown Foundation Theatre
Manil Suri in conversation with Tayyba Maya Kanwal
Mathematician and novelist Manil Suri’s latest book, The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math, embarks on a mathematical origin story spanning the universe. An inspired and insightful journey through the fundamental mathematical concepts that form the cornerstones of our existence, Suri’s visionary work takes us on a riveting journey to infinity and beyond. In conversation with Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow and Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction winner Tayyba Maya Kanwal.
Points of Departure
3 – 3:45 pm, Brown Foundation Theatre
Naheed Phiroze Patel and Sonal Kohli in conversation with Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan
Two writers examine literary journeys, involving both their motherland, India and other worlds. Naheed Phiroze Patel’s latest book, Mirror Made of Rain, is a devastating coming-of-age novel about the wounds of inherited trauma. Sonal Kohli’s book, The House Next to the Factory, charts three decades of a ‘rising’ India. In conversation with Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, they take us on a journey through the stories, memories and histories through which their work navigates.
Points of View: An Archival Gaze of Photography in India
4 – 4:45 pm, Brown Foundation Theatre
Gayatri Sinha and Steven Evans
Celebrated art critic and curator Gayatri Sinha’s latest edited books Points of View: Defining Moment of Photograph in India and The Archival Gaze: A Timeline of Photography in India 1840s-2020 take a deep dive into the technological changes and aesthetic movements in photography across the Indian subcontinent. Focusing on archival and visual elements, the collections provide a much-needed kaleidoscopic lens on photography in colonial and post-colonial India. Artist, writer, curator Steven Evans is the Executive Director of FotoFest International.
Intersections: Searching Equity
5 – 5:45 pm, Brown Foundation Theatre
Guru Prakash Paswan in conversation with Sunanda Vashisht
Presented by Hari Agrawal
This is an important conversation in which Dalit activist Guru Prakash Paswan discusses the wounds of history and the processes of restorative justice. His co-authored book, Makers of Modern Dalit History, features the inspiring accounts of individuals who battled the divisive, discriminatory force of caste – their forms of protest, activism, social reform, and legacy – in contemporary India. Paswan is in conversation with political commentator and writer Sunanda Vashisht.
JLF Houston is made possible by the generous support of Shazma and Arshad Matin, the Houston Endowment, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.