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Comica Conversation: Visions of India

Posted: August 28, 2012

Amruta Patil meets Neel Mukherjee in Comica Conversation at Foyles!
Tickets £6. Available now from the Box Office. Some tickets will be available on the door.

“To know if a tale is worth its weight in gold, check if it reveals itself threefold: In your blood stream. In the town square. In the turning of galaxies. If it does: Gold. If it makes you giddy just to think of the scope of the tale: Gold.”
From Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean by Amruta Patil


Comica Festival, in association with the South Asian Literature Festival, is delighted to welcome Amruta Patil to London for the first time. A writer and painter with an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, she has become India’s first female graphic novelist and an internationally acclaimed author and artist. On Friday September 28th, 6.30-7.30pm, in the Third Floor Gallery at Foyles Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB, Amruta Patil will engage in a Comica Conversation with the award-winning novelist Neel Mukherjee.

They will discuss her debut, Kari (Harper Collins, 2008, above), a powerful queer coming-of-age graphic novel about lost love, subsequent survival and lesbian friendship between Kari and the dying Angel. In his review, Neel extolled the book as “...worth reading for this exquisitely witty and crackling friendship alone. In three unsentimental pages Patil sketches out Angel’s death; I could barely keep my hands from shaking after reading those three immensely vast, restrained, even austere pages.” Neel also praised Amruta’s writing as “...a thing of radiant beauty: witty, smart and swaggering, brightly knowing without ever falling into archness, illuminated by frequent flashes of poetry.”

Amruta and Neel will also discuss her much-anticipated new graphic novel entitled Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean (Harper Collins, 2012). The first in a trilogy, this tells a tale drawn from the opening chapter of the Mahabharat, one of the greatest epics from India. With her evocative illustrations, Amruta relates this story through the recollections of some of the main characters. She has experimented with the story by choosing three relatively quiet protagonists, using them as ‘sutradhars’, or storytellers, for different parts of the tale, with a backdrop that sprawls across heaven and earth. The cast includes gods, demigods, queens, sages, seers, seductresses, hermits, kings, warriors, and navigators of the multiverse. Amruta will be speaking with Neel about the process of adapting the great Epic into graphic novel form, and what readers can expect as her trilogy unfolds.

The conversation will be introduced and hosted by Paul Gravett, co-director of Comica Festival. Following the conversation, Amruta will be signing copies of Kari and a limited supply of advance copies of Adi Parva (published in October).

Neel Mukherjee’s award-winning debut novel, A Life Apart (Constable & Robinson), was published in 2010. His second novel, The Lives of Others, is out in January 2014. He reviews fiction and graphic novels regularly for The Times and is also a contributing editor for Boston Review, where he starts a column from the beginning of next year. You can read Neel Mukherjee’s complete review of Kari here, and read Paul Gravett’s profile of and interview with Amruta Patil here.

Don’t miss your exclusive opportunity to finally meet this extraordinary Indian graphic storyteller in her only speaking engagement in London.

This Comica Conversation is part of the Comica Festival Season at Foyles Bookshop.
The Comica Festival, in association with Foyles Bookshop and the South Asian Literature Festival.

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