JLF HoustonVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Presented in partnership with Teamwork Arts and Inprint
This program has taken place. Find the event recap and photos here »
Saturday, September 16, 2023
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jump to: Festival Schedule
The "greatest literary show on Earth" returns to Houston! At JLF Houston, internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers will take part in a range of provocative panels and debates alongside Houston's best local writers on the thoughts and issues that resonate with our times.
The iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, held annually at the Pink City of Jaipur in India's Rajasthan state, has always believed in the spirit of community and the hope, strength, and vitality that literature gives. Join us for the sixth annual JLF Houston, where the Bayou City's unique culture, diversity, and energy fuse with the festival's camaraderie, caravan of ideas, and magical flow of conversations.
Tickets will include access to all Saturday talks and a "Meet the Authors" reception.
More information about authors and speakers coming soon!
- 10 a.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Vinay Desai and Shanti Lal Shah
Mira Nair: In Her Own Words
- 11–11:45 a.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Mira Nair in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy
Award-winning film-maker Mira Nair talks about her cinematic language, the vocabulary of the moving image, and her special affinity for literary adaptation. Among her best known films are Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, and Salaam Bombay! The musical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding recently hit Broadway. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, she discusses her work, world, and motivation.
Forbidden Pages: Banned, Burned, and Censored
- 12–12:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Oni K. Blair, Tony Diaz, and Salil Tripathi in conversation with Dorcas Hand
Books are dangerous — as dangerous as the often unexpected and subversive ideas they contain. Books can be burned and banned but not the ideas they contain. A session that examines the rationale of banning books across timescapes, social landscapes, and how they survive obliteration.
The Personal and the Political
- 1–1:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Anjan Sundaram in conversation with Salil Tripathi
Award winning journalist Anjan Sundaram's recent memoir, Breakup: A Marriage in Wartime, is a heartrending account of the personal price that war correspondents pay, as they bear witness on the frontlines of humanitarian crimes across the world. Torn between his commitment to his family and his work, Sundaram's writing evocatively translates his moral dilemmas as he travels through the Central African Republic in a compelling journey of horror and hatred, of compassion and courage. In conversation with author and journalist Salil Tripathi.
Independence: The Cusp of Time
- 2–2:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in conversation with Tayyba Maya Kanwal
Celebrated author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s recent novel, Independence, is a powerful narrative about the Partition of the Indian subcontinent, decolonization, and sisterhood. A session examining the human cost of ‘Independence’ in the face of the interlinked cultural identities of Bengal and Bangladesh and the devastating consequences of Partition. In conversation with Tayyba Maya Kanwal.
Mapping the Heavens: A Journey Through the Cosmos
- 3–3:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Priyamvada Natarajan, introduced by Sanjoy K. Roy
Priyamvada Natarajan is professor in the department of physics and astronomy at Yale University. A cosmologist neck-deep in the mysteries of the universe, noted for her work in mapping dark matter, dark energy and black holes, she literally creates maps of invisible matter. The acclaimed author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos takes us on a tour of the ‘greatest hits’ of cosmological discoveries over the past century. Her extraordinary gift for making scientific theory accessible to general audiences and her commitment to developing strategies to enhance numerical and scientific literacy for the public at large make her an ambassador for learning. A fascinating and engrossing session, introduced by Sanjoy K. Roy, that gives us insights into the nature of our universe.
Here and Elsewhere
- 4–4:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Parini Shroff and Aruni Kashyap in conversation with Mohan Ambikaipaker
The vibrant and dynamic oeuvre of diasporic writers preserves the rhythm, cadence, and cultural resonance contained within their work, allowing for originality and authenticity. Parini Shroff’s debut novel, The Bandit Queens, is a darkly humorous social commentary on class, power dynamics, and the role of women in society.
Writer and academic Aruni Kashyap's books include There is No Good Time for Bad News, His Father's Disease, and The House With a Thousand Stories. Rooted strongly in the ideas of oppression, relationship and politics, Kashyap's work lays bare the questions of identity, home and the self. In conversation with academic and writer Mohan Ambikaipaker, Shroff and Kashyap discuss polyphonic voices, the plurality of identity, and a sense of belonging found in stories and poems by South Asian writers in the United States.
The Poetic Imagination: Rhyme, Rhythm and Reason
- 5–5:45 p.m., Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater
- Aris Kian Brown, Rohan Chhetri, and Aruni Kashyap in conversation with Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan
A series of multivocal poetry readings where different rhythms and styles converge in a celebration of imaginative possibility. Houston’s sixth Poet Laureate Aris Kian Brown's poetry navigates the experiences of black women and the complex relationships of the American south while examining themes of identity, society and the morbid anthropology of violence. Nepali-Indian poet and writer Rohan Chhetri's work traverses through the contours of language, space and the search for home. Assamese writer and poet Aruni Kashyap’s poetry weaves together nature, relationships and politics to give us an unflinching look at the state of the world. In conversation with academic Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan.
Performing Arts and Culture programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Syamal and Susmita Poddar. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Houston Endowment Inc. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, and The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts. Additional support provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas.
Performing Arts and Culture Presenting Sponsors
Syamal and Susmita Poddar
Performing Arts and Culture Program Sponsors
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004