Karthika Naïr - "Until the Lions" - Wendy Doniger

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Karthika Naïr

Karthika Naïr discusses Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata. She will be in conversation with Wendy Doniger. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

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About the book: In Until the Lions, Karthika Naïr retells the Mahabharata through the embodied voices of women and marginal characters, so often conquered and destroyed throughout history. She captures the richness and complexity of the Mahabharata, while illuminating lives buried beneath the edifices of one of the world’s most venerated books. Through shifting poetic forms, ranging from pantoums to Petrarchan sonnets, Naïr choreographs the cadences of stray voices. And with a passionate empathy, she tells of nameless soldiers, their despairing spouses and lovers, a canny empress, an all-powerful god, and a gender-shifting outcast warrior. Until the Lions is a kaleidoscopic, poetic tour de force. It reveals the most intimate threads of desire, greed, and sacrifice in this foundational epic.

About the author: Karthika Naïr is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Bearings and the children’s fable The Honey Hunter, illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet. She was the principal scriptwriter of choreographer Akram Khan’s multiple-award-winning solo, DESH (2011), and of its 2015 adaptation for family audiences, Chotto Desh. Khan's adaptation of one chapter of Until the Lions won the 2016 Tanz Award for Outstanding Production. Another adaptation of the book, this time for opera, will premiere in March 2020 at the Opéra national du Rhin in France.

Naïr’s poetry has been widely published in anthologies and journals, including Granta, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Magazine, and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets. She was a 2012 Sangam House Fellow, a 2013 Toji Foundation Fellow, and was awarded a Villa Marguerite Yourcenar Fellowship in 2015. Her latest 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.

About the interlocutor: Wendy Doniger has taught at Harvard, Oxford, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, the University of California at Berkeley, and, since 1978, at the University of Chicago. She is the author of over forty books, most recently Hinduism in the Norton Anthology of World Religions, The Ring of Truth: Tales of Sex and Jewelry, Against Dharma: Dissent in the Ancient Indian Sciences of Sex and Politics, and The Donigers of Great Neck: A Mythologized Memoir. In progress are Horses in Indian Mythology and Letters from India, 1963-2018.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637