365 Days / 365 Plays
On 13 November 2002 – just seven months after winning the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” – Suzan-Lori Parks got the idea to write a play every day for the forthcoming 365 days. She began that very day, finishing exactly one year later. Each play is a response to what happened on a personal or a public level on that particular day. Each play is unique, however short – many are less than a page in length – and each has its own distinctive character.
About the Author
Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the leading Black American playwrights, the author of The America Play, Venus, Red Letter Plays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog, seen at the Royal Court Theatre in 2003. All are available from NHB.
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A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Narayan employs the skills of a master novelist to re-create the excitement he found in the original. A luminous saga made accessible to new generations of readers, The Ramayana can be enjoyed for its spiritual wisdom, or as a thrilling tale of ancient conflict.
David Hintons compelling new translation of Chuang Tzus Inner Chapters makes these ancient texts from the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers. Standing alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding text in the Taoist tradition, Chuang Tzu is highly readablewith a wild menagerie of characters and passages full of witty and engaging anecdotes. Revered for millennia in the Chinese spiritual tradition, Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters is the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzus Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human-centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots–roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism. But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hintons translation captures the zany texture and philosophical abandon of the original. The Inner Chapterss fantastical passages–in which even birds and trees teach us what they know–offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzus sharp instruction on the Tao are short-short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox.On their deepest level, The Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. Chuang Tzus propositions, the translators introduction reminds us, seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts. Hintons vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy accessible to contemporary readers.
The splendour and richness of Chinese classical literature encompasses a dazzling range, from poetry, rhymed prose and eaasy to drama and novels, with outstanding representative works in each genre.
Despite the passage of time, these works remain fresh and relevant today. The immortals lines from Li Bai’s ‘Reflections on a Quiet Night’, “Raising my head, I look at the bright moon; Hanging my head, I think of home,” continue to strike a chord in the heart of many a traveller far from home, while the tragedy in The Dream of the Red Chamber is still able to move us deeply.
Using illustrations and lucid exposition of the various styles of classical Chinese literature, this book takes the reader on a tour of the Chinese literary world and provides a valuable insight into the Chinese civilisation.
Shakespeare’s valedictory play is also one of his most poetical and magical. The story involves the spirit Ariel, the savage Caliban, and Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, now a wizard living on a remote island who uses his magic to shipwreck a party of ex-compatriots.