We deeply mourn the passing of Ian Jack after a short illness. Most famously known as editor of Granta, Ian was a trailblazing and internationally renowned journalist, upholding the best values of journalism: thoroughness, insight, compassion and the finest quality writing.
We mourn Ian Jack the more as he was a committed and valued friend of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest. Brought together by their common love for writing and books, he was a friend of our late Founder Anil Dharker. He was therefore on the Advisory Board of the Festival since it was first constituted, and always generous with his time and advice. “You must use me more”, he used to say.
Ian also personally participated in Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest, in 2013, 2019, and online in 2020. He drew audiences like a magnet and lifted the sessions by his candour, humour and insight. Reflective of his breadth of knowledge and expertise, he spoke at our Festivals on a range of subjects including pure literature, fiction, non-fiction, places, politics, populism – and neatly finessed a literary quiz! While at the Festival in Mumbai he gave freely of his time, conducting workshops, speaking to students and offering a kind ear and gentle wisdom to young writers struggling to find their true voice.
Ian will always be a part of journalistic and literary history. But we will remember him most as a fine human being, and for his generosity, charm, mentoring and true friendship. His spirit will always inform Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest. On this, his last journey we say: “Not farewell, but fare forward, voyager.”