Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

European Union Prize for Literature laureates and European industry professionals in the spotlight at the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Jaipur BookMark

15/02/2021 - 11:02
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~EU to participate for the first time as Festival Partner at India’s biggest literary event~ ~EU and India build on well-established literary ties to enhance cultural cooperation~


Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas and inspiration. From 19th to 28th February 2021, the Festival returns with its 14th edition - fully virtual – featuring famous writers and curated for audiences across the world.

The European Union will participate at the Jaipur Literature Festival for the first time as a Festival Partner through an extensive programme curated by the Cultural Relations Platform (an EU-funded initiative) and the Delegation of the European Union to India. Renowned European writers and winners of the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), representing six Member States and partner countries, will be conducting literary exchanges with their Indian peers including authors, journalists, and opinion makers.

During the two weekends of the Festival (19-21 and 26-28 February), four European Prize for Literature laureates will take part in extensive conversations with Indian counterparts and interact with international audiences. The authors – Kevin Barry (Ireland), Meelis Friedenthal (Estonia), Rodaan Al Galidi (the Netherlands), and Adam Foulds (UK) – representing some of the most talented writers in Europe, will showcase the depth of the continent’s contemporary literature at South Asia’s biggest literary festival.

Next to the Festival’s main programme, the European Union will also support encounters between literary professionals from Europe and India as part of the Festival’s B2B wing - the Jaipur BookMark (JBM). Three sessions will be supported by the EU and address themes including literary translation, current trends in international publishing markets, and the transnational circulation of literary output. EUPL laureates Matthias Nawrat (Germany) and Selja Ahava (Finland), and key industry stakeholders representing the Federation of European Publishers, Latvia, Greece, and Finland will engage with counterparts from the Indian publishing industry.

The initiative is supported by the European Union and the Cultural Relations Platform with the aim of strengthening international cultural relations and stimulating collaborations as outlined in the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations and the New European Agenda for Culture 2018.It is co-organised by the Cultural Relations Platform (an EU-funded project), the Delegation of the European Union to India, and Teamwork Arts (India). This collaboration is an extension of longstanding EU-India creative sector exchanges – and will mark the fourth consecutive year that the EUPL will be represented at India’s most high-profile literary events.

Speaking of growing EU-India artistic and cultural ties, H.E. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan, welcomed this collaboration, remarking that, “The EU is committed to fostering an environment conducive to greater creative exchanges with India. With our participation in the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Jaipur BookMark, we wish to strengthen the EU’s position as a major cultural partner of India, recognizing the importance of inter-cultural dialogue as a key element of our partnership.”

Sharing his enthusiasm Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival said, “We are delighted to partner with the European Union and European Union Prize for Literature and explore the rich writing from this region and strengthen our focus on translations and bringing to the fore the best writers from across the world during the Jaipur Literature Festival."


Friday 19 February

3pm IST / 10:30am CET

JLF 1st panelAdam Foulds in conversation with Elaine Canning

Monday 22 February

4:45pm IST / 12:15pm CET

JBM Session 1: European Union Prize for Literature: Writing from across Europe

Wednesday 24 February

6pm IST / 1:30pm CET

JBM Session 2: Extending the Novel: Fiction, non-fiction, translation

Thursday 25 February

4:45pm / 12:15pm CET

JBM Session 3: Publishing Market: International exchange

Friday 26 February

4pm IST / 11:30am CET

JLF 2nd panel: Meelis Friedenthal in conversation with Malashri Lal

Saturday 27 February

5pm IST / 12:30pm CET

JLF 3rd panel: Rodaan Al Galidi and Jonathan Reeder in conversation with Neeta Gupta

Sunday 28 February

4pm IST / 11:30am CET

JLF 4th panel: Kevin Barry in conversation with Cauvery Madhavan

About the participating authors:

Kevin Barry (Ireland) is the author of the short story collections "Dark Lies The Island" and "There Are Little Kingdoms" and the novel City Of Bohane. He has won the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, and he has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Granta Book of the Irish Story, and many other journals. He also works on plays and screenplays and he lives in County Sligo. In 2012, he won the European Union Prize for Literature with his novel City of Bohane.

Meelis Friedenthal (Estonia) is active in both academia and literature. Academically, his main research topic is intellectual history, and the same interest is expressed in historical fiction, but also in speculative literature. He has published novels, short stories and plays. In 2013, he won the European Union Prize for Literature with his novel The Bees, which depicts the end of the 17th century and is a bleak vision about the voyage and encounters of a student who has come from Leiden to Tartu.

Rodaan Al Galidi (the Netherlands). Rodaan, who first called himself Al Galidi (his complete name is Rodaan Al Galidi) is a writer of Iraqi descent. As his native country didn’t register births when he was born, he does not know his birth date. He studied as an engineer in Iraq before fleeing to escape military service, arriving in the Netherlands in 1998. However, his request for asylum was rejected, and since he was not allowed to follow the official courses of Dutch language, he taught himself the language and started writing. He is now considered to be a Dutch writer and receives stipends from Dutch as well as Flemish institutes.

Selja Ahava (Finland) is a fiction author and scriptwriter. She has published four novels. Her novel Things that Fall from the Skywon the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016, and its translation rights have been sold to 24 countries. Her latest novel The Woman Who Loved Insects came out last year.

Matthias Nawrat (Germany) was born in 1979 in Poland and moved to Germany in 1989. His novels were awarded many times, most recently with the European Union Prize for Literature 2020 (for The Sad Guest). His fifth novel Travelling to Maine will come out in August 2021. Matthias Nawrat lives in Berlin.

Adam Foulds (United Kingdom) is a writer born in London. He is the author of four novels, including The Quickening Maze (2009), a powerful fictionalized account of the poet John Clare’s incarceration in an asylum in 1840, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The book was awarded by the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011. He is also the author of a book-length narrative poem (The Broken Word, 2008) about Kenya's Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. He now lives in Toronto, Canada.

About the European Union Prize for Literature

Since its creation in 2009, the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) aims to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and to encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. The Prize, which is co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, aims to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue. The Prize is open to all countries currently involved in the Creative Europe Program including all Member States of the European Union and 14 non-EU countries. More information at:

About the EU and EU-India Ties

The EU, which consists of 27 countries, has the world's second largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of global policies on sustainability.

EU-India relations: For over 55 years, the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, secure global public goods, enhance security around the world and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest. More information at:

About the Cultural Relations Platform

The Cultural Relations Platform (CRP) is an EU-funded project supporting EU's international cultural relations and cooperation between European and global cultural and creative sectors.

The Platform is supporting sustainable cultural exchanges and people-to-people activities between Europeans and citizens from countries all over the world, including Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the USA, the Western Balkans, and EU’s Neighbouring countries. The CRP activities range from policy support for EU Institutions to supporting cooperation among cultural and creative sectors as well as strengthening communities and networks of practitioners, trough dedicated trainings and enhanced exchanges.

More information at:

About the Jaipur Literature Festival:

Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted nearly 2,000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe.

Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producer Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day programme set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital Jaipur. Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk and Muhammad Yunus, Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood and Paul Beatty, Sahitya Akademi winners Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M.T. Vasudevan Nair as well as the late Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and U.R. Ananthamurthy along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. More information at:

About Jaipur BookMark:

Jaipur BookMark (JBM) brings together stakeholders of the book trade from across the world – publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, translation agencies and booksellers. It gives them an opportunity not just to ‘’talk business” through relevant sessions and focused roundtables but also provides the right and fruitful atmosphere to inspire conversations and space for one-on-one meetings and networking. This intimacy forges relationships and allows the occasional contract to be signed too. Conceived to run parallel to the Jaipur Literature Festival, JBM has fast emerged as a nerve centre for the South Asian publishing industry and is indeed a focal point where books mean business. More information at:

About Teamwork Arts:

For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers and visual artists in the cultural and art space in India and abroad. Every year, it produces over 25 performing, visual arts and literary festivals in several countries including Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and USA as well as many eclectic festivals across India. Teamwork Arts produces the world's largest literary gathering: the annual Jaipur Literature Festival; JLF international now travels to the US, UK, Canada, Qatar and Australia and has recently launched a digital series - JLF Brave New World. Their musical extravaganza, Bollywood Love Story - A Musical, continues to tour the world with sold-out shows everywhere it is held. More information at:


Cultural Relations Platform

Sana Ouchtati, Team Leader

+32 473 64 85 19

EU Delegation to India

Gauri Sharma

+91 8929066817





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