Novel centred around literary festival offers breezy entertainment
AS CO-FOUNDER of the Jaipur Literary Festival, Namita Gokhale was perhaps destined to write a novel connected to it.
The award-winning writer and publisher has delivered a multi-layered book that has a series of contrasting stories set against the backdrop of the world-famous festival, coming together seamlessly into one big melting point. Each story centres around dramatically different writers, a mix of the aspiring, established and unexpected, like a poetry loving thief. Each protagonist is in the middle of a different journey and confronting their own respective challenge in life.
It would have been easy for Jaipur Journals to be a self-indulgent piece revolving around successful writers and how wonderful the festival is, but Gokhale goes beyond that to create wholly relatable characters from different walks of life, experiencing universal emotions. There is self-doubt, struggle, redemption, controversy, a need for recognition, loneliness, new beginnings and more.
Although writers and those who love literature will find this book most engaging, there is plenty for others because the characters are so connected to reality and are from different age groups.
There is also plenty of satrical humour from start to finishand this is perhaps the most surprising element about Jaipur Journals. The author shows off her skill as a writer by bringing the contrasting characters, emotions, and story angles together well.
There could have perhaps been a deeper exploration of some characters and more for those who are not connected to writing. More scope was also available to incorporate modern aspects of the world we live in. Though visitors to the Jaipure Literature Festival or any such event will take most away from this delightful book, it doesn’t stop it from being a breezy free-flowing work that has plenty of moments that will put a smile on your face.