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50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

“A meeting point for poets of all latitudes”
— Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Karthika Naïr India

Karthika Nair
Karthika Nair

Karthika Naïr, French-Indian poet-dance producer /
curator, calls herself a portmanteau person “like sofa-beds and
motels”. Born in Kerala and now living in Paris, she is the author
of four books and was also the principal scriptwriter of DESH
(2011), choreographer Akram Khan’s dance production.

Until the Lions (HarperCollins India, 2015 / Arc Publications
UK, 2016), her reimagining of the Mahabharata in multiple
voices, won the Tata Literature Live! Award for fiction – after
finding itself nominated alongside the latest novels of lifelong
heroes including Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh. The Honey
(Editions Hélium – Actes Sud / Zubaan Books, 2013),
illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet and published in English, French
German and Bangla, made its way into several year-end lists of
must-read books for children, including those of France Info the
French national radio station, and the Indian literary journal,
Biblio. To counterpoise that validation, though, she has her
family’s insistence that Bearings (HarperCollins India, 2009), her
first poetry collection, is bleaker and more cryptic than Antwerp’s
wintry skies.

In Karthika Naïr’s résumé as an enabler, one finds mention of
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet, Käfig / Mourad Merzouki,
two Olivier awards, Auditorium Musica per Roma, the Louvre,
the Shaolin Temple, misadventures with ninja swords and
pachyderms, among others, many of which make their way willynilly
into her poetry (though, hopefully, not into this retelling of
the Mahabharata).