Playing with Words, Worlds, and Images An Interview with the Indian Graphic Novelist Amruta Patil, by Philippe Bornet, Stefanie Knauss, and Alexander D. Ornella

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Amruta Patil

Abstract

In this interview with issue editors Philippe Bornet, Stefanie Knauss and Alexander D. Ornella, Amruta Patil discusses how the unique possibilities of playing with images and words in the medium of the graphic novel allow for a creative critique and reimagination of ancient mythologies as well as contemporary social questions. Her use of the figure of the storyteller, her sensuous visual style, and continuous micro-subversion of traditional motifs invite viewers/readers to enter into the story and make it their own, while at the same time encouraging the capacity to see each other and to engage constructively even with people or viewpoints one might critique.

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Author Biography

Amruta Patil, University of Chicago’s School of Divinity; La Maison des Auteurs (France)

Writer-painter Amruta Patil is India’s first female graphic novelist. She is the author of Kari (2008), the Mahabharat-based duology Adi Parva. Churning of the Ocean (2012) and Sauptik. Blood and Flowers (2016), and Aranyaka. Book of the Forest (2019), which sits at the cusp of ancient Indian philosophy and ecological-feminist stirrings.

Patil has been, among other things, a speaker at Jaipur Literature Festival and London Book Fair, artist in residence at the University of Chicago’s School of Divinity and La Maison des Auteurs (France). In 2017, she received a Nari Shakti Puraskar from the 13th President of India for “unusual work that breaks boundaries” in art and literature.