Sunday, March 28, 2010

Class struggle

Mariam Karim's The Betrayal of Selvamary is about the hypocrisy of the well-heeled... 

Mariam Karim, writer of The Betrayal of Selvamary — her maiden effort as a playwright — is an interesting mixture of the conservative and the liberal. While her play exposes the class, caste and communal mindset of the well-heeled with a ruthless confidence, her own reluctance to venture into the city on her own or rearrange domestic commitments are distinctly, if sweetly, suggestive of upper middle class correctness. 

The Betrayal... rips off the mask of benevolence many an honourable citizen would be found wearing. It also presents us with a set of people of the type we are used to seeing in urban environments across India: an architect, a corporate head, a well-educated mother of two, an ex-model, a poet, and so on. Mariam admits her characters are ‘regular' kinds of people caught in an extraordinary situation. 

But as to whether she showed the play to her friends and whether anyone caught a reflection in the mirror, she answers with a simple, “Oh yes, they've all liked it very much.” But then, Mariam is used to being taken seriously. Her first novel, My Little Boat, published by Penguin, was nominated for the Dublin International IMPAC Award and the Hutch Crossword Award. Her second, The Bereavement of Agnes Desmoulins, was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009 even before publication.

Full report here The Hindu

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