Jaipur Lit Fest 2016

Anousheh Ansari was born in Mashhad, Iran, and immigrated to America to eventually become the first Muslim woman space traveller and fourth-ever commercial spaceflight participant. The founder of the multi-million dollar firm Telecom Technologies and of the Ahoora Foundation, she is the author of the inspirational memoir, My Dream of Stars. She lives in Dallas, Texas.


Badrinath has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College and an MBA from Ohio University, Athens. She quit her job in a multinational bank to pursue writing and dance. A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, Tulsi has performed widely in India and abroad. The city has always been central to Tulsi’s work. Madras, Chennai and the Self: Conversations with the City is her fourth book. She is also the author of the novels Meeting Lives and Man of A Thousand Chances, both long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and the narrative non-fiction, Master of Arts: A Life in Dance.

Kunal Basu

Kunal Basu was born in Kolkata and educated in India and the United States. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels including The Yellow Emperor’s Cure and Kalkatta, and ‘The Japanese Wife’ from his collection of stories by the same name has been made into an award-winning film. He lives in Oxford and Kolkata.

Patrick French

Patrick French is the author of Younghusband, Liberty or Death, Tibet, Tibet, India: A Portrait and the authorized biography of V.S. Naipaul, The World Is What It Is, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a winner of The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. In 2015, he was appointed Doris Lessing’s new biographer by Lessing’s estate.

Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon was born in Sarajevo and lives in Chicago. He is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, Love and Obstacles, The Book of My Lives, The Matters of Life, Death and More and The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent novel is The Making of Zombie Wars. His work also appears regularly in the New Yorker and Granta, among other publications. He is the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and a ‘genius grant’ from the MacArthur Foundation.

Marlon James

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970 and is the author of three novels. His most recent, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize, The American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for fiction, The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean fiction, the Minnesota Book Award and The Green Carnation Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was published in 2005 and his second, The Book of Night Women, was published in 2008. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Granta, and Harpers. In the fall of 2015, he was the master writer in residence in California College of the Arts MFA in Writing programme. He lives in Minnesota and teaches at Macalester College.

Vali Nasr

Vali Nasr was born in Tehran in 1960 and immigrated to the US after the 1979 Revolution. He received his BA from Tufts University in International Relations summa cum laude, earned his master’s in International Economics and Middle East Studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and went on to earn his PhD in Political Science from MIT. Among the many publications he has contributed to are The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time. His book The Shia Revival was a New York Times bestseller. Among his other books are The Dispensable Nation, The Rise of Islamic Capitalism and Meccanomics. He is currently Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC and a Senior Fellow in foreign policy at Brookings Institution.


Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and science writer. She has appeared on TV and radio programmes, including Channel 4’s controversial ‘Is It Better to Be Mixed Race?’ and ‘Brave New World with Stephen Hawking’ as well as BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Quest for Virgin Birth’. A recipient of the Wellcome Trust Mentoring Award for Emerging Talent, Aarathi now works within University College London’s Science, Medicine and Society Network. Previously a cancer genetics researcher at Imperial College London, she subsequently moved into the worlds of science communication and policy, in areas including passage of the human–animal chimaera stem-cell bill in the UK Parliament. She has written for Wired and the Guardian, among other publications, and is the author of Like a Virgin: How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex. A single mother, Aarathi Prasad lives in London.

Sunjeev Sahota

Sunjeev Sahota is the author of Ours are the Streets and was a Granta Best Young British Novelist 2013. The Year of the Runaways, his second novel, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife and two children.   

Sunjeev Sahota is the author of Ours are the Streets and was a Granta Best Young British Novelist 2013. The Year of the Runaways, his second novel, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife and two children.  Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of seven novels, most recently Brooklyn, the 2009 Costa Novel of the Year, The Master, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize and winner of the LA Times Book Prize and the IMPAC Book Award, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize and the 2001 IMPAC Award. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona, The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time. He is also the author of two short-story collections, Mothers and Sons, which was awarded the inaugural Edge Hill Prize, and The Empty Family, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.