The Old Playhouse and Other Poems
Kamala Das
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Out Of Stock

The Old Playhouse and Other Poems is among the classics of modern Indian poetry in English. This new edition carries an eminently readable and insightful introduction by V. C. Harris. Not only Kamala Das’s major themes but the specific terms of her poetic address, voice, and concerns (as a woman, poet, and social being) receive fairly close and critical attention in these pages. Harris concludes his discussion of The Old Playhouse with an altogether fresh and illuminating reading of Kamala Das’s “An Introduction” in the light of postcolonial concerns of home and the world, and the poet’s conversion to Islam in the last years of her life. “Talking about Kamala Das today means talking about not merely post-Independence Indian poetry in English,” he observes,  adding that other, far more complicated issues “relating to gender, violence, identity and difference, hybridity, contradictory coherence, and . . . language and the art of writing the self” cry for renewed attention, pre-eminently in this collection.

New readers of Kamala Das will find her as engaging and challenging as the old readers have always found her. Furthermore, as Harris suggests in his essay, no reader could leave The Old Playhouse without being awakened by a newer conscience and unmoved by fond memories.

KAMALA DAS is one of India’s leading poets writing in the English language. The thirty-one poems in this collection are representative of her best work. Her theme is physical love; her medium, free verse. Her writing is intensely lyrical—sometimes soft and musical, sometimes with a bitter edge to it. Its unpretentious brilliance is revealed in strong yet subtle imagery, and the natural and autobiographical tone heightens its poignancy.

This is an invaluable book for those who are interested in modern poetry and particularly in modern Indian writing in English.

V. C. HARRIS, well-known writer and Professor of English at the School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, has translated (with C. K. Mohamed Ummer) a collection of Kamala Das’s short fiction entitled The Sandal Trees and Other Stories.

V. C. Harris

  1. The Old Playhouse
  2. Composition
  3. The Freaks
  4. Luminol
  5. Gino
  6. In Love
  7. Blood
  8. The Inheritance
  9. Glass
  10. Love
  11. Summer in Calcutta
  12. Convicts
  13. An Introduction
  14. Palam
  15. The Prisoner
  16. The Wild Bougainvillae
  17. My Grandmother’s House
  18. The Descendants
  19. The Suicide
  20. Forest Fire
  21. Nani
  22. A Relationship
  23. Kumar Gandharva
  24. The High Tide
  25. The Snobs
  26. The Corridors
  27. Loud Posters
  28. I Shall Some Day
  29. Drama
  30. After the Illness
  31. The Stone Age
  32. The Swamp
  33. Sunset, Blue Bird
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