• Visiting the Mahabharata in 19 voices

    Kanika Katyal in conversation with Karthika Nair

    July 4, 2019

    "There is a problem with the single voice, especially in the epic. What is a mainstream narrative? What is a majoritarian narrative? The bigger the epic, the more panoply of characters, the more the narratives there are." – Karthika Nair. 

    Karthika Nair is the author of several books, including Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, a re-imagination of the Mahabharata in multiple voices. The book won the 2015 Tata Literature Live Award for Book of the Year (Fiction). She is also a dance enabler and was the principal scriptwriter for Akram Khan’s "DESH" (2011), "Chotto Desh" (2015) and "Until the Lions" (2016), which is an adaptation of her own book.

    In this interview with Kanika Katyal of the Indian Cultural Forum, she talks about visiting the Mahabharata through poetry, the voices she was most compelled by, her writing influences and what it means to be a dance writer. 

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    Karthika Nair's later book, is the collaborative Over and Under Ground in Mumbai & Paris, a travelogue in verse, written with Mumbai-based poet Sampurna Chattarji, and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet and Roshni Vyam.

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