Karthika Naïr


French-Indian, poet-dance producer/curator, Karthika Naïr is the author of several books, including the invented fable The Honey Hunter, illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet and published in English, French, German and Bangla. She was also the principal scriptwriter of the multiple-award-winning DESH (2011), choreographer Akram Khan’s solo, and its 2015 adaptation for family audiences, Chotto Desh.

Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, her reimagining of the Mahabharata in multiple voices, won the 2015 Tata Literature Live! Award for fiction, after being nominated alongside the latest novels of Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh, among others. It was also shortlisted for the 2016 Atta Galatta Prize for Book of the Year (fiction). The Comédie-Française in Paris programmed dramatised readings of French translations of the book by award-winning actress Françoise Gillard in October 2016 as part of the “Grenier des poètes” series, and choreographer Akram Khan adapted its Amba/Shikhandi chapter in his 2016 dance production.

Naïr’s poetry has been widely published in anthologies and journals across the world, including Granta, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Review (UK), The Literary Review (USA), Poetry International, Indian Literature, The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets and the Forward Book of Poetry 2017.

In Karthika Naïr’s résumé as a dance enabler, one finds mention of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet, Käfig/Mourad Merzouki, two Olivier award-winning productions (Babel(Words) and Puz/zle), Auditorium Musica per Roma, the Louvre, the Villette, the Shaolin Temple in Henan, misadventures with ninja swords and pachyderms, many of which materialise in her poetry.

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