Archives of Contemporary India

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Kiran Nagarkar Papers

Kiran Nagarkar Papers
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, one cannot do without in life. All wants are dispensable, as long as one can absent oneself.
The mind must have the final say and sway over the body and not the other way round."
Kiran Nagarkar (b. 1942–d. 2019) was a renowned Marathi and English playwright, novelist and screenwriter. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pune University in 1964 and a master’s degree in English literature from Bombay University in 1967. Thereafter, he worked for about 15 years as an advertising copywriter. His advertisement campaigns with close friend and poet Arun Kolatkar were path breaking.
In 1974, Nagarkar published his first novel in Marathi, Saat Sakkam Trechalis which was acclaimed as a landmark in Marathi literature. It was later translated into English and published as Seven Sixes are Forty-Three. Though he wrote the play Bedtime Story in 1978 (based on the several stories from The Mahabharata), the censors allowed it to be staged only in 1995. Nagarkar wrote Ravan and Eddie, his first English language novel in 1994, followed by Cuckold (1997), God’s Little Soldier (2006), Extras (2012), Rest in Peace (2015), Jasoda (2017), and The Arsonist (2019). Nagarkar’s theatre work includes Kabirache Kay Karayche and Stranger Amongst Us and screenplays The Broken Circle and The Widow and Her Friends. His books have been translated into German, Italian, French and Spanish.
Kiran Nagarkar was awarded the H.N. Apte Award for Saat Sakkam Trichalis (for the best novel of 1974); the Dalmia Award, 1996; the Sahitya Akademi Award for Cuckold in 2000; and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2012.
About the Collection: The papers of Kiran Nagarkar comprise handwritten and typed manuscripts of his books like Cuckold, Jasoda and God’s Little Soldier, the very first version of Bedtime Story; and autographed copies of forewords in Marathi by Kamal Desai for Cuckold and by Vidyut Bhagwat for Seven Sixes are Forty Three. There are several articles, reviews, drafts of short stories/plays, interviews, brochures, press clippings, and various photographs taken by him in 1980s. The collection also contains audio-visual materials in the form of VHS cassettes and CDs of his plays and theatre works; slides and files of his advertisement campaigns of the 1970s; and rolls containing calendars designed by him. One of the most significant writers of post-independent India, the papers of Kiran Nagarkar provide a rich source material for the study of trends in modern and contemporary Indian literature during this period. (Catalogue available)
Donor: Kiran Nagarkar and Tulsi Vatsal
Acquisition: 2018, 2020 & 2021