We are thrilled to be helping present this Seattle appearance by Karthika Naïr, an esteemed Indian poet and dance producer/curator who lives and works out of Paris. This much-anticipated visit is occasioned by the U.S. publication of Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata (Archipelago Books), her award-winning poetic recasting of the epic, seminal Asian classic, in particular giving voice to female and other ‘marginal’ characters who appear but are never as developed.
“Karthika Naïr, in Until the Lions, powerfully reimagines the national epic from the margins, allowing the suppressed voices to be centered and given subjectivity. Lyrical and somatically dense, the prose and verse of this book creates an intense and coruscating chorus. In a world that seems more riven by the political tensions of capital and multiplicity, that seems more dangerous and conflicted, this epic feels like a balm.— Kazim Ali.
“Karthika Naïr explores the contrapuntal stories of the Mahabharata in a virtuoso collection of dramatic monologues. Queens, warriors, sages, slaves and peasants, even wolves have their say, as the tales of rulers and lovers, parents and children, gods and humans, are retold in metered prose and poetic forms of myriad origin: the Spanish glosa, the Malay pantoum, the Provençal sestina, the Pashtun landay, shaped stanzas and nonce forms. This is a glorious work of storytelling and a poetic tour de force.” — Marilyn Hacker.
This is one not to be missed. Co-presented by the Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas at the Seattle Art Museum and Elliott Bay Book Company, with assistance from Tasveer.