Over the past five decades, Girish Karnad has been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the pre-eminent playwrights in contemporary India. Born in 1938, he belongs to the generation of writers who came to maturity shortly after independence and collectively reshaped Indian theatre as a national institution in the later twentieth century. This edition of Karnad's collected Plays, published in two volumes, brings together English versions of all his important plays by the playwright himself for audiences around the world.
Both volumes contain substantial new introductions by Aparna Dharwadker, Associate Professor of Theatre and English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to tracing the plays' literary and theatrical evolution, the introductions comment on Karnad's place in a multilingual performance culture, the relation of his playwriting to his work in the popular media, and his larger-than-life presence as an engaged intellectual in the Indian public sphere.
This volume is a collector's item, which makes the works of Girish Karnad accessible to a wider readership among theatre lovers across the world.
About the Author:
Girish Karnad was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He has served as Director of the Film and Television institute of India, Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (the National Academy of the Performing Arts) and Director of the Nehru Centre, London (the cultural wing of the High Commission of India). He was Visiting Professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. He has been elected Fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and has received the Sahitya Akademi award as well as the Jnanpith, India's highest distinctions for lifetime contributions to literature and the arts. He has been decorated with the Padma Bhushan. His career as a dramatist has been paralleled by an equally celebrated career as actor, screenwriter and director of film and television, through which he played a pivotal role in the Indian Parallel Cinema movement from the 1970s to 1990s.
Excerpts from Review:
'Karnad is India's best living playwright... His journey from Yayati to The Fire and the Rain holds a mirror to the very evolution of Indian theatre and during nearly four decades. The likes of Girish Karnad enable us to pretend that there is such a thing as a truly "Indian" theatre which contemporary concerns.'
--K. Chandrasekhar, The Hindu
'[The Dreams of Tipu Sultan] is a tight, inventive play, an example of how history can be made to yield drama as well as contemporary relevance.'
-Sudhanva Deshpande, The Book Review
'Tipu brings alive the king, rescues him from colonial perspective, and refracts his story through the perspective of independent India. ...Karnad shows us yet again why he is hailed as a genius when it comes to plays.'
'A triumph of technology and timing, [Broken Images] progresses towards a tight and stirring finish as Manjula seems to morph into the Image which then morphs into Malini as "differences of ink and blood and language" are obliterated in a babel of voices and a jumble of television images.'
-Mukund Padmanabhan, The Hindu
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