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Pico Iyer, André Aciman, and M.G. Vassanji announced for inaugural Jaipur Literature Festival Toronto

M. G. Vassanji

Travel writer Pico Iyer, Call Me By Your Name author André Aciman, and two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji are among the first round of speakers announced for the inaugural Jaipur Literature Festival Toronto. The event will be held Sept. 27–29 in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District and at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

Political philosopher John Ralston Saul will host a session about Indigenous cultural ascendance called “The Comeback,” inspired by his 2014 book The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence. The panelists will be announced at a future date.

Additional sessions will be lead by author, diplomat, and Indian politician Shashi Tharoor; India’s Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla; and Indian High Commissioner to Canada Vikas Swarup, who will discuss his first novel Q&A, which was adapted in 2009 into the film Slumdog Millionaire.

Other speakers will be announced in the coming weeks, including the lineup for a session titled “These Lands We Call Home,” billed as interrogating “contemporary issues faced by Indigenous peoples, First Nations, and immigrants.”

The Jaipur Literature Festival was founded in 2006 and has since welcomed over a million literary enthusiasts with guests including Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, Tina Brown, Amitabh Bachchan, Donna Tartt, and Michael Ondaatje. The festival has also hosted satellite events in more than 40 international cities. JLF Toronto is the first event to be held in Canada.

The complete list of announced speakers is listed below: