Girish Karnad, (born May 19, 1938, Matheran, Bombay Presidency [now in Maharashtra], India), Indian playwright, author, actor, and film director whose films and plays, written largely in Kannada, explore the present by way of the past.
After graduating from Karnataka University in 1958, Karnad studied philosophy, politics, and economics as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford (1960–63). He wrote his first play, the critically acclaimed Yayati (1961), while still at Oxford. Centred on the story of a mythological king, the play established Karnad’s use of the themes of history and mythology that would inform his work over the following decades. Karnad’s next play, Tughlaq (1964), tells the story of the 14th-century sultan Muḥammad ibn Tughluq and remains among the best known of his works.
Samskara (1970) marked Karnad’s entry into filmmaking. He wrote the screenplay and played the lead role in the film, an adaptation of an anticaste novel of the same name by U.R. Ananthamurthy. Karnad followed with Vamsha Vriksha (1971), codirected by B.V. Karanth. During this period Karnad continued to produce work as a playwright, including Hayavadana (1971), widely recognized as among the most important plays of postindependence India. For his contributions to theatre, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s top civilian honours, in 1974.
Karnad’s other well-known films in Kannada include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane (1977) and Ondanondu Kaaladalli (1978). He also worked in Hindi, directing the critically acclaimed Utsav (1984), an adaptation of Shūdraka’s 4th-century Sanskrit play Mrichchakatika. With the play Nagamandala (1988), Karnad framed an unhappy contemporary marriage in imagery drawn from Kannada folk tales.
In 1992 the Indian government awarded Karnad another of its highest honours, the Padma Bhushan, in recognition of his contributions to the arts. He was the recipient of the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary prize, in 1999 for his contributions to literature and theatre. He continued to work in film, directing such movies as Kanooru Heggadithi (1999) and acting in Iqbal (2005) and Life Goes On (2009), among others.
Girish Karnad is an important playwright of the modern India alog with Vijay Tendulkar. Karnad’s works are easily available in his own English rendition. Therefore he is very often studied as a representative of Indian drama. Here is a brief bibliography on Karnad. I have not read all these and suspect only some of them might be serious works.
from: google images
If you know of any good book on Karnad do add.
Girish Karnad Bibliography
1. Collected Plays Volume 1: Delhi: OUP, 2005
Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Bali: The Sacrifice, Naga-Mandala: “Tughlaq”, “Hayavadana”, “Bali – The Sacrifice”, “Naga-Mandala”
2. Collected Plays Volume 2: Delhi: OUP, 2005.
Tale-Danda, The Fire and the Rain, The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Two Monologues: Flowers, Broken Images: “Taledanda”, ” The Dreams of Tipu Sultan”, ” Macaulay’s Children”.
Works on Karnad
1. Brian Crow, Chris Banfield, An Introduction to Post-Colonial Theatre. Cambridge, CUP. 1996.
2. Dharwadker, Aparna, Diaspora, Nation, and the Failure of Home: Two Contemporary Indian Plays, Theatre Journal – Volume 50, Number 1, March 1998, pp. 71-94.
3. Mohit K Ray: Tradition and Avant-garde in Girish Karnad’s “Hayavadana” Indian Drama, Interliteraria.
4. Julia Leslie: “Understanding Basava: History, Hagiography and a Modern Kannada Drama” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 61, No. 2 (1998), pp. 228-261 (on Taledanda)
5. Zook, Darren C. The Farcical Mosaic: The Changing Masks of Political Theatre in Contemporary India Asian Theatre Journal – Volume 18, Number 2, Fall 2001, pp. 174-199
6. Neeru Tandon (ed.) Perspectives and Challenges in Indian-English Drama: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 2006
7. Dhanavel, P, THE INDIAN IMAGINATION OF GIRISH KARNAD: Essays on Hayavadana. Delhi: Prestige. 2000.
8. Tripathi, Vanashree, THREE PLAYS OF GIRISH KARNAD:A STUDY IN POETICS AND CULTURE New Delhi: Prestige. 2004.
9. Aparna Dharwadker, “Historical Fictions and Postcolonial Representation: Reading Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq” PMLA, Vol. 110, No. 1 (Jan, 1995), pp. 43-58.
10. Jaydipsinh Dodiya, Plays of Girish Karnad Delhi: Prestige. 1999.
11. C.L. Khatri & Sudhir K. Arora (Ed). Thunder On Stage:A Study of Girish Karnad’s Plays. Book Enclave, Jaipur, India, 2008.
12. Tutun Mukherjee (Ed.) Girish Karnad`s Plays: Performance And Critical Perspectives. Delhi: Pencraft, 2005.
13. Manojk Pandey, The Plays Of Girish Karnad And Tradition. Delhi: Adhyayan Publishers 2007.
14. Peyma, Nasser Dasht. Postcolonial drama : a comparative study of Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott and Girish Karnad, Jaipur: Rawat Publications.
15. L S Gill. Girish Karnad`s Hayavadana: A Critical Study. Delhi: Prestige. 2005.