JLF Soneva Fushi reveals star-studded author line-up

JLF Soneva Fushi in the Maldives has announced its full festival programme, bringing a global line-up of critically acclaimed authors, thinkers, and cultural leaders to the Maldives from May 13 to 22, 2022.

A partnership between award-winning luxury hospitality company Soneva and Teamwork Arts, organisers of the iconic Jaipur Literary Festival, the 10-day festival is set to be a vibrant celebration of the arts, culture and performance, all taking place at Soneva Fushi, the original barefoot hideaway in the Maldives’ Baa Atoll.

With 30 speakers and authors now confirmed, the full JLF Soneva Fushi line-up celebrates the theme of Slow Life, covering a fascinating spectrum of topics: from nation-building to the natural world, politics to poetry, fiction and filmmaking to hard-hitting journalism, and spirituality to scientific discovery.

Speakers include award-winning British-Turkish novelist, Elif Shafak; Academy Award-nominated director, Mira Nair; best-selling author and politician, Shashi Tharoor; André Aciman, The New York Times bestselling author of Call Me By Your Name and Find Me; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Mahmood Mamdani, named amongst TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World; art critic and historian, B.N. Goswamy; acclaimed investigative journalist, Patrick Radden Keefe; Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Department of State; Former Governor of West Bengal, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and a former diplomat, Gopalkrishna Gandhi; Pavan K. Varma, the writer and diplomat; Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale; best-selling historian, and Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple; and diplomat and author, Vikas Swarup, whose novel Q&A became the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire on the big screen. To view the speakers’ bios visit HERE.

Held across 10 days and two weekends, JLF Soneva Fushi’s festival programme invites guests to engage with literature, along with stimulating debates, dialogue and free speech. The event will span exhilarating discourse across themes that include Film and Adaptations; Politics and the World Order; Science, Innovation and the Environment; Travel Writing; History; Fiction; Poetry; Music; Miniatures; and Food and Memory.

Each weekend, the programme is dedicated to flagship events, including keynote addresses, gala dinners on the sand, sunset poetry cruises, live musical performances and film screenings at Cinema Paradiso. Stand-out sessions include an inaugural address by Soneva Co-Founders Eva and Sonu Shivdasani, alongside Festival Co-Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple and Festival Producer Sanjoy K. Roy, following welcome cocktails on Turtle Beach; director Mira Nair in conversation at Cinema Paradiso followed by a star-lit screening of Monsoon Wedding; a sunset poetry cruise, hosted by Arundhathi Subramaniam; and a keynote session with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. To see the full programme visit HERE.

Weekdays at JLF Soneva Fushi will focus on more close-knit sessions and author discussions, as well as a range of engaging workshops where guests can unleash their own creativity, including creative arts and writing, Bollywood dancing and glassblowing. In true JLF tradition, each day will start and ends with music. Every morning, the festival will begin with a choice of enriching and enlightening sessions that focus on expanding guests’ horizons before breakfast, including yoga and meditation, dance sessions with acclaimed choreographers Gilles Chuyen and Puneeta Roy, guided snorkelling with Soneva Fushi’s resident Marine Biologist, glassblowing at the Soneva Art & Glass studio, and transforming waste aluminium into art at the Makers’ Place.

Throughout each day during their stay, guests can explore and indulge in everything that Soneva Fushi has to offer: miles of pristine sandy beaches edged by tranquil turquoise waters; exquisite private villa accommodation, with Barefoot Butlers on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request; healing rituals and innovative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul; exceptional dining destinations serving the finest cuisine from across the world; and rare, one-of-a-kind experiences that create memories to last a lifetime.

For those wanting to attend JLF Soneva Fushi, Soneva’s exclusive festival offer includes full access to the entire festival programme, daily full board at selected dining destinations, and complimentary return domestic transfers (wheeled plane), priced from USD 6,800 for two guests for a minimum four-night stay. Those who book before February 28, 2022, will also benefit from an additional 10 per cent JLF Early Bird reduction on their stay. To view the JLF Soneva Offer visit HERE.

“We are so proud to host the first edition of JLF Soneva Fushi, which is also the first-ever Maldives iteration of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva. “The festival’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to finally reconnect with the pure joy of literature and the arts, and I cannot wait to welcome the line-up of outstanding international authors to our shores.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “It’s been a dream project to take JLF to Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. Our all-new edition will focus on climate crises, history, geology, fiction and film, alongside delectable cuisine and diverse music and poetry traditions, bringing together the best of world cultures in one place that includes the sun and the sea!”

Held each year in Rajasthan’s pink city of Jaipur, the Jaipur Literature Festival is known as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’. JLF’s international extensions, which has annual iterations across global cities that include London, Belfast, New York, Colorado, Houston, Adelaide, Toronto and Doha, are a celebration of the hope, strength and vitality that literature imparts, showcasing South Asia’s multilingual literary heritage infused with the unique flavour of their host regions.

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