Until the Lions- Echoes of the Mahabharata: Karthika Nair

The Programme in English and Creative Writing presents

Until the Lions- Echoes of the Mahabharata: 
A reading by Karthika Nair,
followed by a discussion with
Saikat Majumdar 
Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 16.14.01

In Until the Lions, Karthika Naïr retells The Mahabarata through multiple voices – through the lenses of nameless soldiers, outcast warriors and handmaidens as well as abducted princesses, tribal queens and a gender-shifting god. As peripheral figures and silent catalysts take centrestage, we get a glimpse of lives and stories buried beneath the edifices of god and nation, heroes and victory—of the price paid for myth and history, all too often interchangeable.

Launched in India in September 2015, Until the Lions received much critical and popular acclaim, and won the 2015 Tata Literature Live Award in the Book of the Year (Fiction) category. The UK/international edition was released in January 2016 at the Roundhouse (Camden) to coincide with the world premiere of Akram Khan’s dance adaptation of one of its stories, the chapter on Amba-Shikhandi. This piece, winner of the 2016 Tanz Award for Outstanding Dance Production, has been touring across the world since, and will continue to do so across the 2017- 18 season. Actress Françoise Gillard held a dramatized reading of French translations from several chapters of the book at the Comédie-Française in October 2016, and another adaptation, this time for opera, is on the cards for 2020.

“Karthika Nair’s Until the Lionsis an unshakeable masterpiece of modern poetry, and one of the great retellings of the text.” Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Indian Express.

“Naïr’s voices give one a sudden fluency with a complex narrative that is immediate and surprisingly subtle — so alive are her voices, so chilling are the prophetic leaps into the chaos of prehistory.” Sandeep Parmar, Times Literary Supplement


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